Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
An exclusive get together, PiChani, was held in Bulawayo last week and a number of people were not happy about it because they were not invited.
PiChani was held last Saturday at a secret location and many people did not know that it was taking place.
While some were caught up in Ginimbi and his Ferrari craze, the secret location, Sabela Studios in Bulawayo was a hive of activity with select local celebrities mixing and mingling.
Mbo Mahocs, Amanda Mutangadura and Vuyo Brown were some of the local celebs there with performances from Msiz’kay and Asaph.
It was only after trendy pictures of the event surfaced on social media with people slaying on the red carpet that some questioned what the event was all about.
The rumour mill said the event was for a select few who were hand-picked by the organisers and opinion was divided in the social media streets. Some were of the opinion that organisers had the right to hand-pick their guests while others wondered why a select few were chosen and the criteria used to come up with the list.
However, PiChani’s curator and organiser, Gilmore Tee Moyo said the event was meant for the fashion industry.
Explaining why a select few were invited, Gilmore Tee said: “Every event caters for a different audience and everybody goes to what they like to attend. There’s no space for the people in the fashion industry at the moment hence why I decided to create space for that through this event. I don’t know why everyone is throwing their toys out of the pram.
“It doesn’t mean that we don’t want to have other people, hence why we had artistes such as Msizkay, Asaph, Mimmie and influencers Busi Bhebhe, Nigel Ndlovu and NGZ Bulawayo director Butholezwe Nyathi.”
A similar event was held last year at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo with the same modus operandi as it was strictly by invite. Guests were hand-picked by the discretion of organisers. And those who featured in the pictures also featured at this year’s event.
Detailing PiChani, Gilmore Tee said it’s a Pan African Lifestyle and Fashion Platform where skills are exchanged, fashion showcased and business deals sealed.
He said the name PiChani meant get together in Kiswahili.
“It’s a skills exchange platform to showcase mainly fashion and art stuff. It’s also a business platform where people sell stuff. People came dressed up and we even had an exhibition from two fashion designers who showcased their fashion lines.”
He said such events were key as they keep the fashion industry on its toes.
“Everyone who came to PiChani had to look for a designer to make their clothes so most local designers were busy.
We need more of these events to bring business to the people in the fashion world and also give them space to meet other people who can buy their products,” said Gilmore Tee.
Sharing his vision, Gilmore Tee said he wants local fashion designers to have an identity.
“During the year, we must have workshops where for example, young fashion designers go to Lupane and spend time with women who make reed mats and baskets to get inspiration. They can go to other parts of the country just to get ideas from our mothers and the like on how they produce their pieces.
“At the end, we want them to be able to translate that into their fashion pieces. My biggest problem with fashion designers in Zimbabwe is they have no identity.
“Every year when I’m trying to recommend designers to go for showcases in Africa, I struggle because most of them have no identity.
“So, with the PiChani, there’s a skills transfer because there’s a lot of knowledge that our elderly people have, but young people tend to shun as they think we know it all,” said Gilmore Tee.
He said they had limited numbers at this year’s event due to the lockdown restrictions. Those who missed out this year, Gilmore Tee said can try their luck next year as he intends to host a bigger event. — @bonganinkunzi.