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MBDA to host first Eastern Cape Fashion and Design Council

Many communities have experienced local regeneration, thanks to art projects inspiring people to take pride in their surroundings and creating community spaces for all to enjoy. The arts have been shown to increase empathy towards others. This, in turn, reduces social tension and discrimination.

The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) is proud to be the host venue and sponsor of the first Eastern Cape Fashion and Design Council (ECFDC) event, which takes place during Heritage Month on Friday, 13 September 2019. This event was solely created to empower the Eastern Cape's youth within the textile and crafts industry.

The ECFDC is a non-profit organisation founded in 2018 by Laduma Ngxokolo and Nwabisa Bunde. The organisation aims to help SMEs within the fashion, design and craft industry both through various business development initiatives and by providing advisory support.

"The connection between people and art is deep. Just like language is a natural behaviour of expressing oneself, so is art. Art is a universal form of communication, and many people can share their ideas and thoughts with others. Hence, introducing the Creative Arts mentorship programme seemed viable," said Bunde.

"We want the Eastern Cape to become a mass contributor to the South African economy. Panel discussions about funding opportunities, youth empowerment as well as branding and marketing strategies will form a vital part of the programme on the day."

The Creative Market affords designers a platform to market and sell their products and provide various skills development opportunities.

"Initiating positive change, as well as developing and promoting a creative culture in Nelson Mandela Bay, forms an important part of the MBDA's strategic values," said Luvuyo Bangazi, spokesperson for the MBDA.

"High rates of unemployment, poverty and inequality threaten economic growth and social cohesion. Promoting the development of mentorship programmes such as the ECFDC is one solution to the current employment crisis."

Fresh from New York Fashion Week 2019, Ngxokolo will be at Tramways exhibition hall to set up on Thursday, 12 September.