Having created a traditional mogagolwane collection that won her the Innovative Designer of the Year in London in 2014, Tsholo Dikobe continues to give the Botswana fashion industry what it deserves. This time around, she has introduced custom-made trendy masks from a doek.
This fashion artist, fashion director, stylist and creative director is the founder of The Khoi-fro– Khoi Exclusives, which offers fashion styling, trend forecasting, creative directing, retail and creative consultancy services. She sees herself as a pioneer in image consulting in Botswana.
Dikobe works with fashion retail brands, organisations that need imaging solutions and Botswana fashion designers on brand positioning to help brand a new Botswana where the focus is in favour of raiment designs and products by local Botswana talent. She continues to work with one of Botswana’s biggest selling newspapers, The Voice, as a fashion journalist.
When COVID-19 pandemic hit, she brainstormed how best to help alleviate the situation and came up with a unique mask called The Khoi Tukwi Mask.
“The Khoi Tukwi Mask by Khoi Exclusives is an ode to the Khoi-San and the Khoi-Khoi of Botswana who are regarded as the first people on earth with a distinct heritage,” Dikobe explained in an exclusive interview with Executive Life. “This is a symbol of a first exclusive fashion offering of African culture in design,”
“In Setswana culture, the tukwi (doek) is an item that depicts concrete identification and mostly worn by a Motswana woman as a status symbol and as a signal of ‘botho’ (respect). The tukwi (doek) mask is a style knacker that makes for a bold, cultural statement and yet a sophisticated and modernised feel for the modern-day woman. It is a meticulous three-ply lined mask that is in alignment with the CDC for COVID-19 mask protocols.”
The masks have been taking different styles for different tastes. For Dikobe, this collection is about making people look good and bit stylish while going out and staying safe. “The mask is not a substitution or replacement of other personal protective equipment,” she says. “It gives me joy to be doing something that keeps my nation safe and helping in fight against the pandemic. In addition to that, donning the Khoi Tukwi Mask is a story of home and hope, of and cultivating an essence of being a first in everything you do while conserving African culture.”
About the creative director & fashion artist
Named a Fashion Person to Follow by CNN, Tsholo Dikobe is a graduate of the University of Botswana with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She has worked for Botswana’s first fashion magazine, Lapologa, as a fashion and accessories trend forecaster and specialist.
Dikobe has also worked with renowned fashion organizations, including Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa where she styled international designer for the Josh and Nicol Show. In 2013, Dikobe was invited as a panelist and brand ambassador to share her experience and expertise at major events in countries like Germany for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (Berlin), Africa Fashion Week London in the UK, South Africa and Nigeria where she met African trailblazers and super models such as Naomi Campbell and Alek Wek.
Dikobe has worked with two of Botswana’s prominent fashion shows, the Masa Fashion Show as a fashion stylist and apparel coordinator and Fashion Without Borders as a fashion and trends writer. She has a sterling reputation as an adjudicator of some of Botswana’s prestigious shows that involve the public service, such as Mr and Miss Public Service Botswana and the President’s Day Fashion Show.
In the world of media, she has collaborated with and has been featured in a number of local and international publications and media platforms such as CNN as a trailblazer, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, Destiny Magazine, and New African Woman. Dikobe was made Brand Ambassador for the international fashion show, Africa Fashion Week London 2014, and as Botswana’s representative and fashion talent scout to help African brands gain essential international exposure.