When Sindi Buthelezi left mzansi to go work abroad little did she know the extent to which she would long for home. Living in the heart of Queens and holding down a job in Brooklyn USA somehow provoked in her a greater appreciation of being African after all she had to contend with all types of questions about Africa from her newfound American friends. “I started realising that I didn’t know much about the rest of Africa as I did South Africa” she explains. This KZN born and bred sistah was feeling an urge to cut herself loose from the strands of conventionality and commit herself to travelling the African continent. And so she did! Never being one to entertain the fear of exploring in 2006 Sindi made her first trip to Mozambique. By the close of 2009 this anthropologist-in-the-making had also been to Botswana, Lesotho and Tanzania. Enthralled entirely by the mystical beauty and aura of Africa she made a decision to abandon her IT job and embrace the rebellious artistic streak lurking in the sea of her quiet spirit.
It was in Tanzania where Sindi made friends with an inspirational man who taught her the art of t-shirt hand-printing. Excited and empowered she and close friend Gcina Nkau began making t-shirts with revolutionary signatures such as AZANIA, UBUNTU, LOVE and an African map – selling these revolutionary tees at flea markets in Newtown Johannesburg.
Today Sindi’s unique concept of fashion goes beyond the beauty of the clothes. She sees her clothes as commercial transcripts to communicate subliminal messages to the masses more especially urban youth. The message she advocates is about the beauty and richness of African heritage which is also the inspiration behind the brand name Azania Zulu (Azania = Africa, Zulu = Heaven). The Azania Zulu House of Creation which was established in 2010 currently holds blazing tees, sweaters, tank tops, vests, trousers, backpacks, scarves and more. Go get yours by visiting azaniazulu.com or join Facebook group AzaniaZulu.