Tendani Mudimeli wears her minwenda (traditional Tshivenda attire). Photo supplied.
Ms Tendani Mudimeli of Gogobole is one of the rural young women who have come to the decision to start doing things for themselves.
Mudimeli had been a professional nurse and worked in different hospitals in Gauteng for 10 years before she resigned in 2018.
She now uses her God-given talents to make beautiful minwenda (traditional Tshivenda clothes), such as men’s traditional T-shirts, misisi and dzingwana. Her happy customers call her “the queen of traditional clothes”. She doesn’t have to work for a boss anymore, with her sewing business, situated in Eltivillas in Louis Trichardt, going from strength to strength every day.
Mudimeli explained that her love of sewing and design began at the tender age of 11 years, when she used to watch their next-door neighbour alter and make clothes for her family.
During an interview with Limpopo Mirror, Mudimeli shared her secret for success: “Hard work, effective time management and proper customer care will make you go places.” She taught herself dressmaking skills, because she was determined to defeat the scourge of unemployment and poverty.
“You cannot just sit and wait for someone to do things for you; rather get up and be your own boss. I started sewing Tshivenda traditional clothes some six years ago, after I had had a dream that by sewing, I could survive and provide for my family,” said Mudimeli.
“Managing family life and running a business are not easy, but I make sure that I do what makes me happy,” she said. “I was thinking of providing some training to poor rural women who also wish to make Tshivenda traditional clothes.”
When asked what advice she had for other women, she replied: “Stand up and take charge of your lives. It’s high time we took back control. Don’t depend on a man.”
To Mudimeli, happiness come first in her life, despite the challenges she sometimes faces. She has emerged as the toast of Vhembe because of her creativity. Mudimeli provides top-class service to her clients and prefers to use the indigenous Vhavenda, Bapedi and Tsonga fabrics as a means of showcasing their heritage to the world.
“If you are a rural woman and still believe that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, and wait for your husband to bring food home, you are mistaken. The latest trend is to help the government by creating your own job and being your own boss,” she said.
Date:29 August 2021 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.