Project South Africa: Meet Masana Chikeka
Masana started out her career as a fashion design lecturer at a number of leading tertiary institutions in South Africa: the Walter Sisulu University and then at Allenby Campus – now Damelin College. She also worked as a Visual Merchandiser for Edcon (one of South Africa’s leading departmental stores).
Masana has worked in varied fields over the years that involve vulnerable groups in the social and developmental sectors, specifically dealing with rural communities, women and youth. She has done extensive project and programme management in the social and developmental fields that integrated design and crafts, this involves working with communities in the second economy in an effort to bridge the gap between the two economies and bring the latter to level of the first economy.
She has contributed greatly in the fashion fusion programme led by the Department of Arts and Culture, which aims at fusing fashion with indigenous craft. This programme uses established fashion designers and links them with crafters in the provinces to do product development workshops in order to produce high quality products that are sold in boutiques and clothing shops. The first ever fusion workshop was facilitated by two lecturers from the Central Saint Martins school of Arts in London who were invited over to South Africa.
Masana sits on the advisory board of the Design School of South Africa, the Tswane University of Technology’s Fashion Department and the Mzansi Fashion Institute. She was also a volunteer at POWA (people opposing Women Abuse). She is well travelled, particularly in the African continent.
Her academic qualifications include: Masters in Management in the field of Public and Development Management – from the University of the Witwatersrand, Degree in Fashion Design; Brand Management and Portfolio Planning Diploma; Financial Management Certificate; Project Management Diploma.