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[BLANK_AUDIO] This is the second time we've taken Essence Festival to South Africa in Durban. What should we expect from the event? You know for me because I went to the one in New Orleans and it was such an eye opening experience because I didn't realize it was that big. But what I hope that it's going to do is it's going to bring out the young people. And of course women I wanna see more and more women come out to the essence festival in Durban cuz it's a great space and it's a safe space for women to be empowering each other and women to be just sharing you know all things womanhood. Yes. So yeah I'm excited, I'm excited and I know people are gonna come out in there numbers. Everyone is so excited to see T. D. Jakes come out. Hello. He's just so huge out there. He's gonna preach. But you know what I loved about it last year was the culture Remember when they had the Yes. All the different cultures come out. For sure. Singing and dancing. And they're gonna have I'm going to look forward to that. That again this year, because for me I Truly believe that, as South Africans, we are so versatile in who we are. I could be in a leather dress but when I go home I could also wear my beads, my colorful beads. So there's so much versatility. And I keep saying everyone in America, come on, come on, come on, come see. Come see it. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Like author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who only wears clothing by Nigerian designers at public appearances, ESSENCE Festival Durban 2017 Host Nomzamo Mbatha is always spotted in African print when on the red carpet. 

When a fan complained on Twitter recently that Nomzam constantly wearing African print was becoming ‘boring,’ she made it clear that it was no mistake. On the contrary, the rising starlet says she’s quite proud to showcase South African designers at high profile events. 

“Why would I go to America and want to look like an American girl? I am an African girl and I am comfortable in being that girl,” Nomzamo told ESSENCE. “I want to showcase South African designers. I am all about cultivating and investing in the talent that we have in my country. My job is to change the narrative that Africa is only about HIV/Aids or poverty. I want the world to know that we are talented, we are fly, we are woke and informed, we can hold an intelligent conversation.”

Which of Nomzamo’s stunning red carpet looks featuring pieces from South African designers was your favorite so far? Be sure to visit our official ESSENCE Fest Durban 2017 website HERE for more info out how you can join us in South Africa this fall!