I was bringing a piece of the country I had come to call home with me to one of the biggest days of my life.
All the design companies are white-owned, the most successful ones. So that creates this perception that design or the arts are a white thing.
But even as his profile grows globally, Khulekani is committed to keeping his business rooted in his homeland. Khulekani attended university in the United Kingdom, studying design, art, and then fashion design with technology, and interned for British designer Marios Schwab. But the robust fashion world of Western Europe didn’t entice Khulekani to stay abroad. His choice runs counter to a common narrative, that of the “brain drain” of African students who study abroad and decide to make a go of it in a country where they can access a better quality of life and, in the case of art, better markets. "I made a conscious decision from the early go that I had to return to Swaziland," he said.
One of his signatures is modernizing traditional clothing in Swaziland, transforming staples like animal skin loincloths with bright dyes and pops of color.