Anisa Mpungwe: Living in Art and repping African colours

“Africa is not afraid of patterns and colours, that’s the one thing we do in our sleep, so we use it to be louder amongst our foreign friends.”

“I am African so that aesthetic cannot disappear. It will always be there” – Anisa Mpungwe.

African designers like Anisa Mpungwe make you feel your African is okay to be African as she strongly represents on international levels. She is a Tanzanian designer trained in fashion in South Africa, and she started in the industry at the early age of 19. Ms Mpungwe has experience working in several fashion places, factories and magazines across Europe and Africa.

Celebrities like Solange Knowles, Anele Mdoda, Sharon Smith, Michelle Obama and many others have won her style. In 2013, she won the African Fashion International Emerging Designer Award and was a nominee for the MTV Transform Today Award. In her years of work, she has worked with several big brands like LG, SPREE, SAMSUNG, MASERATI etc.

As a Neo-African designer, Ms Mpungwe established Loin Cloth & Ashes.

The Origination

She was born in Tanzania, where she lived a conservative life before she moved to South Africa and got her first culture shock as everything was very different. Fashion was not her fort, but she became interested in it when she designed a dress for her matric dance.  Often, she attributes her decision to go into fashion to her very encouraging parents.

Ms Mpungwe started fashion quite early and even did some freelance design roles before she enrolled to study fashion and marketing. However, she was able to juggle both and topped the class. Participating in some fashion weeks in Europe and her study in the UK helped her imbibe modern fashion into her existing knowledge.

In 2012, she got an endorsement from Solange Knowles that helped her open her fashion brand. She is notably a hard worker who can feature several designs on various international platforms. She makes people like Kutlwano Mokgojwa wonder how she gets the inspiration to deliver different collections at different fashion shows.


Ms Mpungwe expanded her design career into doing home décor, doing industry talks, making junior wear and offering consultations.

She loves to patronise the local market to produce her designs as she gets her fabrics from the market in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, totally repping Africa on all fronts.

The Mr Price stores display her collections in South Africa and the continent.

Ms Mpungwe intends to cross into the fashion industry in Tanzania. She has high hopes about it and wishes to play a massive part in making it a top market. However, she considers this to be something that will be pretty challenging as Tanzanians do not take fashion designers seriously.

Ms Anisa Mpungwe continues to create timeless designs and does not limit herself in exploring art. She gains her inspiration from all around her, including art, music, colour, shapes and moods. Once she recounted attending a wedding in Nigeria, she got the inspiration of using colours as she saw the way people boldly wore their different colours. 

She gives another perspective to boldness, confidence and feminism through her styles.

Ms Mpungwe is an inspiration to anyone wishing to express their inner person with their profession. Creativity is unlimited, creativity is endless, and you can reach the world to create change with this.

Written By: Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu (Writer, Social media manager and graphic designer with Africa4AfricaWomen/Assert/PAWES).


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