Inside Palesa Kwitshana

Aphelele
I had the utmost pleasure of having a sit-down with Palesa Kwitshana, who is a Durban-based social entrepreneur, mother and creative. The amount of inspiration that flowed throughout our conversation can’t ever be fully expressed! I hope you can relate after you have this read…

Who is Palesa Kwitshana?

I’m a mother, a daughter, a sister. But the most precious role for me is being a mother to my three beautiful children – Solami (21) apple of my eye 😍 Nelisa (12) my daughter, who is matured, lovely, loving. Lulama – he heals me. He’s got such innate spirituality. He knows when to give a hug, when to kiss. My kids play a very important role in my life – they define me.

Either than that, I am a lover of all things creative. Grew up as a creative child in the 80s and slowly learnt that there wasn’t much places creatives. I understand the struggle of the creative child finding their relevance in the economic system. If (as a creative) you’re not in a career that absorbs you in a structure you’re left to fend for yourself. You miss out on the opportunity to be groomed and mentored in a structure. For example, an accounting student walks out of varsity and they are absorbed into an accounting firm. There are things that are not accounting that they are being taught, things like keeping time, dress code, how to conduct interpersonal skills and authority. These things help them to better do what they are trained to do.

Now, what I have then found is that another student gets their Graphic Design qualification. They are great at what they do, now they’re supposed to be in a ecosystem where people work with deadlines and certain value systems, and that’s where my passion comes in. So the South African Fashion Institute is saying – bring your creativity, let’s understand the industry and the value chain and help you get to that point. Creatives need to understand that they need to commercialise so that they make money. We can’t keep living hand-to-mouth, it’s not cool – we need to grow.

What are you passionate about?

If all of us can do well (and we’ve all got the potential to), then I’m happy. I love unearthing raw talent. I think my role in life is to show people their potential.

What inspires you?

Creativity, growth, breaking boundaries and just questioning conventional wisdom. I believe I’m a philosopher, and I refuse to see thing the way the general public does. I get inspired by people doing things differently. You can do that by the way you thing, how you do things, your business model, the way you design. Just dare to be different. God made us different.

When did you realise your passions?

When I worked at the KZN Fashion Council. Before this I was a marketer, I’ve done everything in marketing: PR, media, marketing – but I found the content of the discussion to be quite dull.

Please tell us more about the SA Fashion Institute…

The SA Fashion Institute is an advocacy agency for the growth and development of the clothing, textiles and design sector in South Africa. SAFI is the culmination of my career path, academic credentials, networks and passion!

Isn’t she lovely? It’s so special, I rate, when one uses their experience and expertise for the benefit of others. Ms Kwitshana’s initiative is more especially close to my heart because she is a key role player in my local fashion industry and she’s wanting to empower the next generation of fashion creatives and entrepreneurs.

 

If you’d like to find out more about SAFI, make sure to check their website out and learn how you could lend a hand to this awesome cause.

Yours in ✍🏾
Aphelele

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