Arts and Culture – Tebo Bakwena
Fashion Without Borders founder
At the age of 30, Tebo Bakwena decided it was time to revisit her passions and return to the modelling industry. This was a world familiar to the wife and mother of two, who had retired from the industry a few years prior in order to start her family.
She now has her own company known as EFIGY productions, which stages fashion and modelling events in South Africa and Botswana. The company also produces the renowned Fashion without Borders — an annual event hosted across the African continent.
EFIGY Productions stages fashion events that are directed at upcoming artistic and creative talent.
In Botswana, EFIGY Productions has facilitated workshops for designers and models, has been involved in judging and facilitating fashion competitions for Independence Day celebrations, and has staged the Mascom Derby fashion show. At the moment EFIGY is staging the Miss Plus Size Model show.
Bakwena says her involvement with fashion and glamour started in a small town south of Johannesburg in 2006, when she became the brand ambassador of Long and Lasting hair products. She then went on to model, later featuring in magazines like Drum Wedding, Afropolitan, Bona and True Love.
Bakwena has also strut the runway for designers such as Marc and Mitchel, Palesa Mokubung, David Tlale, Thunderstorm, Dajavu and Untherline.
In 2004 Bakwena was among the top 21 Miss Botswana finalists. This background in pageants later inspired her and a fellow expat to organise beauty pageants in their local Vaal Triangle community. While conducting these events, she realised that there were so many aspiring models and designers who had talent but lacked the resources or know-how.
This prompted Bakwena to move back to Botswana to start Fashion Without Borders Africa — a movement that encourages youth to explore and expose their talents internationally.Fashion without Borders is an idea born out of EFIGY Productions.
Its vision is to provide a platform for upcoming talent to showcase their craft on a larger and international platform.
Those chosen to participate in the event will travel the continent and exchange ideas across cultures and creative genres.
Says Bakwena, “we are looking for someone who will be a role model and give back to the younger generation — someone with intentions of growing the fashion industry and learning important business skills that will in turn enable them to feed their families and contribute towards our economy.”