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Walaza worked for a while as an engineer but when she came to work wearing one of her designs, her colleagues clamoured for her to make them similar dresses. It wasn’t long before she changed careers, and moved to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal to study fashion design. While there, from her first year she picked up awards and nominations, and showcased her designs at the New York Fashion Week

At her first local Fashion Week show, she used 40% shweshwe, after which Da Gama approached her, offering to sponsor her for a while.

Walaza’s father wanted her to be a doctor because she was good at maths and science, but when she started being a successful designer, he said: “I delayed you, you’d be far.”