Durban — The Hollywood Foundation together with the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Fashion Fair (DFF) Development Programme celebrated new Rising Stars in uMhlanga on Thursday.
The contestants were all fashion designers who showed their gratitude for the opportunity to showcase at this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July.
The nine Rising Stars received R250 000 in the form of equipment pledged by the Hollywood Foundation to help them better their skills.
They also received sewing machines to make achieving their dreams possible and received the required tools to conduct their day-to-day business.
The nine had initially gone through a vetting process in the form of interviews, as they were selected as part of the Enterprise and Supplier Development programme in the foundation.
The interviews were done by Group Transformation Manager, Babongile Mkhize, who ensured that there was fairness in the selection process.
Mkhize said the foundation had not only helped the fashion industry but was also at the forefront of helping the people affected by the floods.
“It was an honour for the Hollywood Foundation to make this contribution towards the DFF’s Rising Stars.
“At the Hollywood Foundation, we strive to make a difference in the lives of up-and-coming businessmen and women. During the vetting process, it was clear to me, and the company, that these designers have a promising future, and the assistance we provided will hopefully encourage them to build their businesses, and in turn, contribute to our economy,” said Mkhize.
eThekwini Municipality’s Economic Development and Planning Committee chairperson, Thanduxolo Sabelo, said partnering with the foundation had been a good decision.
“We congratulate our rising stars for making us proud and flying the eThekwini flag high in showcasing immense talent and growth in the fashion sector,” said Sabelo.
Xoliswa Mkhize, 35, said he had been with the “the life-changing” program for close to a decade.
He said that as a young boy from uMlazi, he was given an opportunity to showcase in Italy, and appreciated it.
Mkhize said they were now able to employ people and that has always been his dream, to not see anyone starve.
He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity and said he planned to teach others.