Janak Parekh, the man who designed a R90 000 suit for Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi for his 90th birthday. Picture: Thobeka Ngema
Not satisfied with designing a R90 000 suit for Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Indian-born designer Janak Parekh has his sights set on two more outfits for his favourite politician.

Parekh, who designed the super-priced suit for Buthelezi’s 90th birthday, says although everyone is fascinated by the price tag, it no longer becomes a gift if people put a price to it.

Parekh was touched by a BackChat message the Daily News received about his design.

“Buthelezi receives a suit of gold from Janak Parekh. Of all the people who receive expensive birthday gifts, Buthelezi is the most deserving. Only older people know that he worked all his life for the good of every race. He has never said anything bad about anyone. He wanted federal states in SA and there is no doubt this would have been the best option to limit corruption. SAM,” the BackChat read.

Parekh, now a Durbanite, said the suit took two months to create.

“I first designed a suit for Buthelezi in the late 80s,” he said. “I designed suits for him because of his ability to unite and bring peace to all races and cultures.”

Parekh said he was very fond of the politician because of his character.

“Buthelezi has humility,” he said. “I love his sincerity, straightforwardness, diplomacy, and he is the most honest politician.”

Parekh said he planned to design more suits for Buthelezi; one for his impending retirement and another when he turns 100.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi cut a dazzling figure in his R90 000 birthday present.  Picture: Thobeka Ngema

“The first one I want to make is for his retirement. It will be made with the colours of the IFP. I want other political parties to donate two lines and I’d like to get different political leaders to sign a piece of paper and I’ll use those signatures inside the lining,” he said.

“I have designed suits for Nelson Mandela, Jacob Zuma, King Goodwill Zwelithini and Prince Charles,” Parekh added.

He said the most expensive suit he had made cost R340000 and was for a man in Qatar.

The 65-year-old said he did not have official business premises and relied on word of mouth.

He is an engineer by profession and uses his technical drawing skills to design clothing.

Daily News

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