Who is Mbaliyezwe?
Mbaliyezwe Ndlela is the founder and creative director of South African fashion brand, Mbaliyezwe Atelier. She was one of 25 upcoming fashion designers selected for the three month Durban Fashion Fair 2022 Mentorship Programme, where she was mentored by BET's Made In Africa judge, Doctoral Candidate and CEO of Fezile Fashion Skills Academy (FFSA), Fezile Mdletshe, as well as Thandanani Majola and Hlengiwe Gumede (also of FFSA). She showcased her debut range at the Durban Fashion Fair 2022 mentee fashion show, held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre Complex.
Subsequent to graduating in Fashion Design, she developed a keen eye for intricate detail, creating original pieces for Mbaliyezwe Atelier. Her goal is to always create an exclusive and timeless form of design that each bespoke client or ready-to-wear customer that purchases her designs, can confidently wear while freely expressing their own unique style.
Mbaliyezwe appeared at number 27 on South Africa's Top 50 Most Influential Women on Twitter 2023 list, created by UK company, Brandwatch. She was one of 58 South African women who made the Top 200 Most Influential African Women on Twitter 2020 list, created by French company Smart Data Power and The Women in Africa Initiative - coming in at number 44.
Boasting over 380 000 Twitter followers, Mbaliyezwe has utilized her creativity, positive personality and writing skills to help grow her social media audience over the years - becoming a trusted and professional social media influencer – producing quality content for social media campaigns and promotions. She has worked with brands like Ford, Standard Bank, Telkom, Showmax, Catrice Cosmetics, Clover, KFC, Plascon and Avon – to name a few. Her niche is, but not limited to – fashion, beauty, positivity, travel and lifestyle.
"Founded in 1991, Special Olympics South Africa is home to more than 45 000 talented athletes trained in 18 competitive sports. We provide year-round training for men, women and children with intellectual disabilities. Our goal is to transform their lives through the joy of sport, and to transform the lives of their families and communities.
" - Special Olympics South Africa website. Mbaliyezwe has participated in the 2021 and 2022 Special Olympics South Africa Polar Plunge, remotely, to help create awareness and raise funds for Team South Africa.
Mbaliyezwe was one of the ambassadors for (and participated in) the 16th Annual Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon in 2021, which is the worldwide crusade against breast cancer. Proceeds from the annual event are donated to NGOs that work with breast cancer survivors, i.e. CANSA, Wings of Hope, as outlined on the Avon website.