In honor of March, the month of Women Empowerment, we wanted to celebrate two lovely ladies who no doubt arrived and made such a beautiful impact in each other’s life that built a strong friendship as they bond on all things fashion. Here’s Rethabile Mendu and Lizeka Makala in a 2-part series on Style & Friendship.
As Told by Rethabile Mendu
Rethabile comes from the Eastern Cape in East London. Currently, she is in South Africa studying law at the University of Fort Hare. Rethabile Mendu to be exact loves clothes and all things fashion. While pursuing a career in fashion, blogging on the side and being a fashion and style influence, Rethabile has her ride or die, Lizeka Makala with her by her side.
When did you two meet?
Liz and I met in East London through a mutual friend in 2014 and we fell in love with each other’s energies. At first it felt like Deja vu, like we had known each other most of our lives. From then, we never lost contact.
Describe her style.
Lilly is more into high fashion and style, a bit of street culture and urban. However, you will never find her without a pair of good heels.
What is your staple clothing item?
Well I’m into comfortable clothes.
I sometimes go all the way but I believe in clothes that match your personality and are not ordinary. Therefore, I will jump in between being a lady street fashion vintage and high fashion just to make sure my multi-personalities are all catered for.
If you could describe Lizeka with one word, what would it be, and why?
Happiness. She’s such a breath of fresh air, you barely see her frowning. Even on her worst days, you will find her squeezing in a smile here and there. She’s a happy soul and makes everybody around her feel that way.
How do you keep your friendship strong?
We are very transparent. I doubt there’s any aspect of my life she does not know about be it, things we don’t like or things the other does to make another person not feel good. We address issues when they come. We barely wait because we both communicate a lot and understand each other’s personalities.
The best is knowing who is God. We fear God and our friendship has grown from strength to strength as we are not afraid to pray and talk to God.
Does one need to take out a second mortgage for shoes?
Not at all! We don’t really go for expensive clothes, we mix and match expensive to very cheap items. Other people don’t even know we own a good pair of shoes worth 30 Rands (Around Kshs. 260) because we always find a way to mix our items and they come out perfectly.
What should I buy right now, today?
Pair of good sunglasses is our latest obsession right now. A girl can never leave the house without beautiful eye wear.
If you were to buy one fashion item for the other tomorrow, what would it be?
A pair of shoes.
How would you explain the fashion scene where you are?
I come from the 2nd biggest township in the Eastern Cape. This means you get exposed to all types of people and style. Some people are too scared to try new things while others dare to be different. It’s a combination of both but more people are learning to embrace their individuality, which means more people are willing to try new things and be bold.
What would you let yourself spurge on?
Make-up! I could never get enough of it. I enjoy applying make-up and trying to improve the art each day. On any given moment with the right finances, I find myself in a cosmetic store just so I can buy myself make-up.
What is one thing you know of the other that no one else does?
Hahahaha that she is a song bird, she loves singing mind you she can’t even sing. I’m sure you’re thinking she loves singing and performing but no. I mean, in the middle of a conversation you will find her singing what we are talking about be it a serious matter or not. She finds a way to pop in a song here and there and we always end up laughing. Other people believe she is shy and I’m the talkative one but she’s not really shy, she just needs to be comfortable around you in order for you to embrace her crazy side.
What is your favourite thing to do together?
We enjoy shopping and taking good pictures together. Even if we have nothing in our bank accounts, being in each other’s space makes us very happy. We love dancing together as well, we barely plan our moves we just dance together. She understands I’m not a very good dancer but I love dancing regardless. Honestly, we just get each other that’s all and it’s easy for us to be the best that we are because we love and support each other.
What would you like to do together but never have?
We would love to go to Paris together and explore other avenues.
Preferably leave South Africa and visit other countries and enjoy their different cultures and fashion ,meet new people outside what we know and to be able to make an impact in other people’s lives.
What takes up most of your closet space?
Shoes! I love shoes and I could never get enough of a gorgeous pair of shoes. My shoes are my transport as I don’t own a car, so I always make sure my shoes are the best.
What one thing would you both like to do in the fashion industry that has always been a dream of yours?
We always talk about growing the fashion industry in the Eastern Cape. We are both from here and we found out that too many talented people from back home leave the Eastern Cape to try find better opportunities in Johannesburg. Which means more talented individuals try to pursue their talent far from home.
When we realized that most successful fashion icons originated from the Eastern Cape, we wanted to find an initiative that brings out all our artists and provides them with the necessary skills to help others help themselves. We have great photographers, bloggers, fashion designers, make-up artists , business minded individuals and artists.
Anyone who has an interest in trying to pursue a career in fashion ,we want to bring all of that together to ensure that our Eastern Cape artist always finds ways to build themselves first at home and not leave for the big city. Working together to create such an initiative would really be a dream of ours given the platform to do so.
Images courtesy of Rethabile Mendu’s Instagram