Rich Mnisi Shocks Tweeps – He’s Selling Xibelani For R60k

Twitter went into a frenzy yesterday after an internationally renowned designer; Rich Mnisi revealed his 2021 outlet with prices ranging up to R60k!

Titled Hiya Kaya, the collection lives up to his luxurious style and high-end signature brand.

Hiya Kaya which means “headed home” in his native Xitsonga language pays homage to his culture and consists of a variety of items including the Xibelani skirt, which stirred up the most controversy. 

The skirt is a traditional garment worn by the Xitsonga’s at traditional celebrations and ceremonies. 

Twitter was divided on the matter as some users reacted with utmost shock at what some called exorbitant pricing. While some tweeps supported Mnisi’s reasoning that it was time the country introduced its own proudly South African version of luxurious clothing brands… 

Claims of cultural appropriation surfaced which Twitter was quick to rubbish as it was revealed that Rich is a Tsonga man himself and should rightfully benefit from placing the marginalized language group on the map. 

A tweep by Paballo Chauke who is famous for his tweets on tribalism and cultural appropriation shocked many when he showed his support to Mnisi’s collection by claiming that the negative comments about Rich Mnisi’s collection were a result of the tribalist sentiments against the Xitsonga people. Paballo made international headlines claiming international popstar Beyonce’s Black is King is a form of cultural appropriation.

“@ChatWithChauke A part of me can’t help but think it’s tribalism that’s making y’all shocked at the prices that Rich Mnisi charges. How dare a man from an undesirable tribe think he’s worth so much? How dare he attempt to sell his culture at such high prices? Just say you hate Tsonga people & go”

The Xibelani which normally ranges between R2000 and R6000 on the local market is not new to the South African entrainment scene and has been used by another internationally acclaimed MuTsonga celebrity Sho-Madjozi on various occasions. Celebrities such as choreographer, television reality star and presenter Somizi and DJ Black Coffee came to his defense, claiming that given the brand’s style and success the prices were justifiable. 

@RealBlackCoffee tweeted: “Worth every cent. #richmnisi.”

While @somizi tweeted: “MNISI IS RICH…..RICH IS MNISI.”

Last year Twitter went abuzz after Rich released a collection of face masks worth up to R2,000, leaving Mzansi divided on his pricing. Again in 2019 Rich made it to the headlines when a garment he designed for actress Nomalanga Shozi allegedly cost R94000 for her appearance at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.

The 27-year-old South African based creative is a Forbes 30 under 30 Class of 2019 inductee who also won Emerging Designer of the Year at the Essence Best in Black Fashion in the same year. Describing himself as a contemporary multi-disciplinary brand, his other collections include Alkebulan,  Milorho, Lobola,  Mother, Nwa-Mulamula, and Xingelengele.


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