Johannesburg – In their new reality show, Made In Africa, BET puts local designers to the test as they go on a quest to find the next big thing in fashion. Going along for the ride is TV personality Nandi Madida, who has taken up the role as host of the show.
Speaking to Channel24 ahead of the premiere, Nandi explained what viewers can expect. “Made In Africa is a reality fashion show, ten episodes, really riveting television because there’s just a lot of cliff hangers. At some point it’s very emotional. And I think it’s because everyone there is genuinely passionate about fashion, including myself.”
With fashion shows becoming a popular trend on local television, the presenter says what sets this one apart from the rest is its focus on Africa as a continent. “The reason I chose to be a part of such an amazing fashion show is because it includes the whole continent, and that we haven’t seen before. That really excites me. It’s something else to see how people work throughout the continent.”
And while with many other productions the winner becomes a distant memory a couple of months down the line, Nandi says it will be different with Made in Africa. “What excited me more about the show is, yes it’s for television, but honestly the winner goes beyond that. They get to have a collection at The Space (an online shop), which I think is so exciting and also practical from a commercial perspective, where, at least they get into the business of fashion. So it’s not a case of, you got the winner and they’re lost and they don’t know what to do.”
She adds: “I hate it when you have all these competitions and you don’t know what happened to the winner, and they’re almost lost. But they’re being put in the public and it’s almost like the production benefited but not the winner,” a sentiment that many viewers can relate to.
A successful designer herself, Nandi shared some of her top tips for making it in the industry. “First of all, find your aesthetic and ensure it’s something that no one else can find anywhere else. That’s the most important thing,” she says.
The star also talks about the importance of being “willing to evolve” over time.
The final, but probably most vital, piece of advice she shares is this: “It’s almost sad to say this, but it’s just the truth cause I like to be practical – you need to find funding too. And that’s in terms of support for your collection. Cause financially it’s very taxing. And that’s something that people don’t speak about a lot but it’s the absolute truth.”
Made In Africa premieres on 30 May at 21:00 on BET (DStv 129).