Designer Musa Zincume with his Ultra Mel branded bags.

Inspired by scenes of Johannesburg township boys who taunted each other with cuisine, expensive clothes and beverages – a young Durban designer wants to use the “shock and horror” factors to build his empire.

Musa Zincume, 22, founder of Afro Bravo Concepts, has created a limited edition bag using recycled Ultra Mel custard cartons to create his own masterpiece.

He has been using raw materials to produce iconic fashion since 2007.

The iziKhothane are a group of Johannesburg township boys who were exposed by eTV’s 3rd Degree earlier this year for exorbitant spending on clothes, fast food, hired taxis and alcohol.

Some even pressurised their pension-earning grandmothers to fund their outrageous lifestyle, which saw them tear expensive clothes in contests with other groups, shamelessly disposing money and spilling litres of Ultra Mel custard.

He said of his Ultra Mel bag range: “The concept came after the hype surrounding iziKhothane, and although I don’t condone what they were doing, I want to embrace the hype.”

Zincume, who works full time as a draftsman for a steel company, says he is glad Durban did not buy into that trend, but he wants the people of the city to embrace his custard brand-inspired bags.

The exterior of the bag is made from recycled Ultra Mel cartons and neatly trimmed with red coated leather. The bag is handmade by the designer and costs R500.

On the sides, the bag reads, “Dream Success”, which Zincume says symbolises his struggles with his family who wanted him to quit his business and focus on work.

“I believe in myself and I’ve learnt a lot in my six years (as an entrepreneur).

“There have been tough times, but I manage to bounce back, and every day I work towards my dream of building a fashion empire. It will pay off one day,” he said.

Zincume wore a self-made T-shirt branded BBM – he said it symbolised “Brilliance and Bravery of Mankind”, a trademark he lives by.


He has already bought his first car and paid off his tertiary education fees with the money earned from his emerging brand.

His bags are a hit in Cape Town, according to Andile Mbatha, who sells them at flea markets and various festivals.

Mbatha, who creates sculptures and beadwork, met Zincume about three years ago at the Design Indaba in Cape Town and bought into the idea of the vintage record and sack material bags he had created before his Ultra Mel venture.

He had not yet received stock of the new Ultra Mel range, but said he made good profits from selling Zincume’s work at about R400 and R600 a bag, depending on the size.

In Durban his merchandise can be found at a shop called Innovative Trends in Excel House building in Anton Lembede (Smith) Street.

For more information visit [email protected]

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