LOOK: Thebe Magugu launches ‘Heritage III: Lobola Negotiations’

Heritage III by Thebe Magugu. Picture: Imraan Christian

Heritage III by Thebe Magugu. Picture: Imraan Christian

Published Apr 22, 2024


Thebe Magugu is a fashion icon whose creativity expands beyond making beautiful garments; every piece of clothing he produces has a meaning.

Although he may be an internationally renowned designer, Magugu still takes the South African fashion season seriously; hence, he’s launched a new collection.

Titled “Heritage III: Lobola Negotiation”, this collection features iconic South African media personalities, including the legendary Dr John Kani.

“Exclusive to British ‘Vogue’, this instalment explores ‘Lobola’, which is a centuries-old negotiation process in anticipation for eventual marriage, where the family of the groom approaches the family of the bride with an offer – traditionally cattle, contemporarily money – in ‘exchange’ for the bride herself.

This is meant to be symbolic rather than ownership, and the exact margins of this practice change from culture to culture,” explained the multi-award-winning designer.

“Fronting this campaign are 18 South African leaders – from Professor Thuli Madonsela B.V.O to Dr John Kani O.B.E – each of whom have spearheaded their respective fields with their talents, skills and minds – whether it's in law, film, photography, literature, business, sports, culinary arts or art.”

The leaders featured in this campaign include Ama Qamata, Anele Mdoda, Boity Thulo, Mandla Sibeko, Miguel Timm, Mogau Seshoene, Nunu Ntshingila, Nomzamo Mbatha, Priddy Ugly, Prof. Thuli Madonsela, Thebe Ikalafeng, Thapelo Mokoena, Thebe Magugu, Tresor Riziki, Trevor Stuurman, Zizipho Poswa and Zoë Modiga.

The collection includes lobola dresses and shirts representing South African cultures, including Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Tswana, Tsonga, Swati, Sotho and Venda.

The designer’s aim was to educate the world about the lobola tradition that is practised by many cultures in South Africa.

“The updated silhouette for the Swati Lobola Heritage Dress is a long-line shirt dress that features a concealed button stand, an exaggerated collar, and angel cuffs that flare out from the high wrist.

“The Lobola Heritage Dress has included a D-ring belt, which cinches the waist for the perfect hourglass silhouette. The print is a celebratory look at the Swati ceremony, illustrated by artist Phathu Nembilwi,” reads one of the descriptions from the brand’s website.