University of Malawi students launch Usolva clothing brand

Students from Chancellor College in eastern city of Zomba have started their own clothing brand Usolva Clothing Inc., an innovative initiative coming from the constituent college of the University of Malawi.

Students showcasing Usolva clothing

Students showcasing Usolva clothing

According to the co-founder, Otiyela Mtema, who is an economics student at the college, Malawi seems to be excessively and unnecessarily dependent on importing foreign commodities.

Usolva clothing

Usolva clothing

“It is rather unfortunate that a country that recently celebrated its 50 years of independence should be relying on the neighbouring Tanzania or China for such a common basic need as clothing,” Mtema told Nyasa Times.

He further says in an economy which generates the majority of its foreign currency from tobacco, which despite being very profitable, is only seasonal and dependent on the weather, there’s a need to refrain from avoidable spending on foreign commodities.

“As such it is the ultimate goal of Usolva Clothing Inc to be the leader in the locally unexplored clothing industry and consequentially improve the net-exports position of the economy, by supplying the market with Malawian produced quality material”.

He says primarily, in its first years of operation, Usolva Inc will be focused on providing customized t-shirts for organizations, events and companies nationwide with a near-future vision of branching out to a wider, more inclusive operational scope.

In- Charge of Creativity and Product Development, McPherson Ndalama, says: “At Usolva Clothing, Inc. we strive to design, create, and deliver works of art at rates reflecting the economic environment of Malawi.

“In addition to our signature urban Usolva limited edition t-shirts, we create fresh and fashionable, original t-shirts for companies, organizations, events etc; whether it be for profit oriented advertisement or social welfare targeted objectives.”

However, Mtema says instead of merely being spectators and critics of the undesirable economic conditions of the country the students took upon themselves to take a part towards achieving the national goal of social and economic development.usova clothinh

“Sometimes when you want things to be done, you have to stop complaining, come up with a solution, and do something about it, and as such the brand is called Usolva, which literally means ‘figure it out.”

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75 thoughts on “University of Malawi students launch Usolva clothing brand”

  1. makito says:

    Let them explain what creativity is there. Si angosita ma tshirt a ku China ndi chi inscription amenewa? It would really be shame to go to town with that.

  2. ABITI says:

    THESE ARE ALL CHINESE T SHIRTS, AKUNGOIKA MA PRINTS WO BASI, ITS JUST LIKE THE WAY WE DO TIKAMAPANGA LAUNCH MA PROGRAM MMBOMAMU eg TIGONJETSE MALUNGO WE JUST PRINT ALREADY MADE T SHIRTS, THAT WHAT THEY ARE DOING

  3. Jelbin mk says:

    And I like the spirit of these guys because there is a disease in Malawi and the rest of Africa where the youth always think they get educated only to find employment and abandon the most profitable path of entrepreneurship and innovation lets please change our mindset and become innovational and not consumptional only and if everyone holds the mindset of being employed then who is going to employ who?

  4. Jelbin mk says:

    That’s great guys though the durability of your products will talk for you otherwise its quality determines the way forward of your company and if I read well I heard that you intending to supply to china and Tanzania which will be unproductive because vhine is overflown by production all they need are markets so please don’t intend to export there they are the leading manufacturers in the world and are second to non.

  5. Charlie Hebdo says:

    Spare me the importation brouhaha. The T-shirts you posing in are probably from China. Branding T-shirts have never been the same as manufacturing or designing them. Most Malawians claim to be designers when all they do is branding or re-branding an already made product. Should we be surprised then that as a country we don’t have any dress style to call our own. What we call traditional wear here, is West African dress style. My advice to the group is that if they want their label to be credible, it should start from tailoring to branding their products. They need to be original!!!!!

  6. Charlie Hebdo says:

    Councils at #58 comments out of ignorance. Nike, Adidas, Umbro and Puma do design their collections and then outsource the manufacturing of the same. You will never get any genuine merchandise of these companies that was not designed by them. Our country is flooded with counterfeit products bearing the brand or image of these companies most of which comes from China which I think Councils believes are original Nike, Adidas, Umbro or Puma products.

  7. DJ?????? says:

    THESE GUYS ARE USOLVA SCREEN PRINTERS….. BUY PLAIN TSHIRTS FROM CHINA SHOPS AND TAKE THEM FOR SCREEN PRINTING… BASI…… u may try anyway… style ndi wekha pa town…..
    however, one can buy better quality tshirt or golf shirt with that money on sankha wekha or gwada usankhe!

    mosova just get the message from the comments so far….

  8. Red Devil Fanatic says:

    This is very nice and refreshing to read. I notice some positive comments and the usual Nyasa destructive comments, but that should be expected because when people can’t do something themselves, they want to pull you down with them, protect your dream my brother men, bravo.

  9. macd says:

    usolva ask nyau king where he is with his nyau wear/tshirts musovadi this is malawi

  10. masa masina says:

    The issue here is about value addition. If these guys are adding value to the T/shirts they buy from China, then they have a very good business idea. otherwise all the nasty comments are not called for.

  11. pijo says:

    I guess school and talent are two different things. Leave what belongs to ceasar to him. I will keep my 5 grand for some kaunjika.

  12. Chipatso says:

    Amalawi msanje***pangani zanu tiziwone

  13. chindele chakufikapo says:

    Koma ngati zili zongoprinta ma intelectual-wa ndiye agufatu…kupala,kunyika…coz evryone else can do the said printing ,mmakwalala mwathumu anthu akuchita zimenezi…magaye mungodya ndikumalimbana ndikumakalawirana nditimayaro tosasamba tapachilunga…musatichitse manyazi ziganizani ngati ma intelectual..bravo poly my former college…madolo amene anapita pamudzi umenewu amaganiza bwino ndithu.

  14. Ozitsata Atani says:

    ma comment ake amenewa koma nde musovadi3

  15. Law-abider says:

    K5000 – Reflecting Malawi Economy? ISOLVA DAPP.

  16. Mirella K says:

    I wish Bingu was alive and see the effects of quota system! How could a whole university students buy t-shirts, take them to a screen printer, tell him to print ‘usolva’, and go all along unashamedly and call it ‘innovative initiative’! Damn! Even the word ‘usolva’ was ‘coined’ by secondary school pupils at Chimutu CDSS and it has been widely used among the youths to the point of turning it into a cliche’. Chanco inali kaledi eti!!!

  17. Councils says:

    Nike…adidas…umbro…puma…etc…as far as i know, dont manufacture much, if anything at all! Yet we buy these labels. Sell the label guys. Most of these comments zingosonyeza ka ignorance. Usolva!!!!

  18. Councils says:

    Nike…adidas…umbro…puma…as far as i know dont manufacture much! Yet we buy these labels. Sell the label guys. Most of these comments zingosonyeza ka ignorance. Usolva!!!!

  19. Printing. T shert singakhale khani yomalemba apa zopusangati zimenezo,this guy they don’t even know ndikusoka komwe what r u writting here bwanji osalemba za floods ngati mamasowa zolemba

  20. Reasonable Man says:

    ti ma t shirt iti kungochapa kawiri katatu tayamba kale kusuluka ndi kutanuka

  21. Thobwa says:

    nosense from learned collegues… this is basic screen printing yomwe akumapanga aliyense mtaunimu… palibe za economics apa Otiera… Nothing innovative apa mwapala mitondo, keep the spirit sme day muzapanga zazikulu

  22. Bolamoyo says:

    Are you making the cloth yourself? if its mere printing go to hell. As university students I also thought you could be creative on the brand name. Usolva = usova a term that every youth is using these days.

  23. ujeni says:

    Printing a t-Shirt with some venacular word is not innovation. Even mad people at Zomba mental hospital can do that

  24. Couldn’t you find better women to model for you?

  25. Piche Yakiti says:

    Tsitsi phwi chomcho mmutumo ndi za ziii ngati izi, kufuna kutchuka basi???? Pezani zochita zina osati izi. Do you have a factory pa Chilunga ?

  26. zoona says:

    are you making your own Tshirts or you are T shirts from chines shops and print them? if you making your own Tshirts good lucky ..but if its just printing after buying alredy finished Tshirts …then Think twice….on creative thinking

  27. popapo says:

    Very good but how will you keep the patent otherwise the Tanzanians and Chinese will flood the market with your labels. Kaya musoLva !

  28. kanunkha says:

    Where is the factory for making the t-shirts?? Are the T-shirts not imported from the mentioned countries….. We need an industry that convrts raw material to finished products. this will turn around the economy.

  29. Charles says:

    but be prepared to explain what Usolva means! impressive though, remember in order to win the people’s hearts with your products concentrate a lot on quality, otherwise this dream will die a natural death.

  30. chilombo says:

    MK5000? Tisolva.

  31. Donald says:

    thats fantastic, rather than shouting to the government money mongers.Their heads are busy searching for cash gating the money.

  32. The Truth says:

    So you print a phrase on an imported Chinese T-Shirt and call it a Malawi manufactured Product? How many of you Mickey Mouse ‘Clothing’ Companies have fallen flat on your faces a month down the line?! Mxii!

  33. Chendele says:

    A photogragher why did you choose not to give the ladies a nice picture. 0/10 fail kukondera too much.Give the flower the high definition they deserve

  34. Mirella K says:

    Nanu a nyasatimes mmatichititsa manyazi…there is nothing like ‘innovative initiative’ here. All the t-shirts in pictures are Chinese made. What these students hav done is simply taking them to a painter/printer at New Road area in Zomba and have them branded ‘Usolva’…And for your own information, ‘Usolva’ is a term that was coined by secondary school pupils and has been widely used among the youths that is now a cliche’…It hasn’t been even coined by the so-called students in question! Let’s stop praising mediocrity in Malawi! Ana awa akufuna kungowakawa ana anzawo apa Chanco ndalama…after all chanco students hav always had an insatiable appetite for t-shirts —kaya zachipani, za mipingo or zopanda tanthauzo ngati izi…bola ali ma t-shirt!

  35. Chamwaka says:

    You mean a campany that label china made t shirts, that come to Malawi through Tanzania, with Usolva stamp will then export these China made t shirts afterbeing stamped by Malawi students back to China through Tanzania? And you call that development? Vendors have been doing this in Bangwe and Lilongwe for ages. What really are they teaching the students at Chanco nowadays? I hear they learn indiginous economics, is this it? Load of nonsence! I was hoping to hear the students have designed a t shirt making machine or a ginery machine but painting china made t shirts, mboli zanu!

  36. Vuka says:

    bravo guys

  37. me says:

    Good luck! That’s what we want from young people not just drinking satchets like stupid Davido.

  38. Gerald says:

    good initiative.keep it up my contry boys

  39. crispen kandido says:

    thats great guys. i am proud of you

  40. DJ?????? says:

    Not bad. to make money through tshirt labelling!

  41. ujeni says:

    Copying copying copycats all the time. No originarity. In Malawi we are good at copying each other, when one starts selling Makala, everyone else starts selling Makala. We are like cattle.

  42. Wawa phiri says:

    Mwabwera bwinotu pamenepa and musalekele pompa. Tatopa ndi zinazi aMalawi.

  43. gift kaunda says:

    this is refreshing news indeed.we waste the very little foreign currency that we get from the tobacco exports on cheap clothing and fake designer wear.what about our government picking up all”matelala”who happen to have this massive talent of designing and producing exellent wear for both men women and set up industrial clothing parks for them.these guys have the capacity to deliver.their talents are being exploited in south africa.if this happens even the taifa market will be flooded with local fashion.

  44. Bwambwaka says:

    Grt bt dnt xpect smooth road…it shud b cheap if u want 2replace chinese

  45. wobeba wanga says:

    very nice, keep it up guys. i like the green lebel

  46. Masoambeta says:

    Za ziiii! Printing cheap tshirts mwati mupange ndalama zogulila fodya wamkulu??

  47. Namacherenga says:

    Congratulations guys. However I do not understand how this will reduce our import bill if the t-shirts and other clothing materials will still be imported. NDISOLVE?!

  48. Loga says:

    Ana amenewa you can even see their eyes kuti ndianyere kwambiri…nyere zili thoooo mmaso mwawo.Angofuna kugwirira ndi kumanyenga akazi basi….akafoira awawidanso kumeneko.Ana a imbwa amenewo.

  49. marko says:

    This is not clothing company what these guys are doing akumagula ma t-shirt ndikumalemba kuti ulsova……palibe design yachilendo pamenepo there once these who were involve in the same stupid industry where are they now …M DUBZ Y BEING DULL MINDED NDIFE OSALIRA BASI ANTHU OKONZA MA RADIO AJA NDIYE MADOLO OSATI KUMALEMBA MA T-SHIRT KUTI MUWANYASE ANTHU NDIRANDEMU HONESTLY SPEAKING THE T-SHIRTS ARE NOT WORTH K5000 MWINA KA K500 KUPEREKA MOPIRIRA MOMWEMO ….COTTON MUKUMAGULA KUTI..INK MUKUGULA KUTI ECONOMICS YA MABUKU …CHANCO NDIYE KUTI CHANI KULI MADOLO OSAVAYA CHANCO UKOOOOO EDUCATED FOOLS AT WORK

  50. Old Timer says:

    Good idea mafana, koma nanunso musolve kaye izi:
    You’re despising importation of clothing, I would like to know if you manufacture these T/shirts right here in MAlawi or you import and just print. Tiyeni tinene zoona, as much as we yearn to print our own materials locally, am of the view that what the country needs most is the manufacture of the same within the confines of our boarders. It is the t/shirt that drains much of our resources than the actual printing.

    Otherwise, good move mamember, keep it up.

  51. Award Winner says:

    Uniform lol

  52. Atcheya says:

    Iya. So you think printing some nonsense on a Chinese t-shirt is enough for a ‘clothing label’? What are you smoking there at Chirunga?

  53. pauda says:

    Ok so whats new if you are not tailoring the tshirts from scratch. whats special about screen printing a tshirt thats made in china or south africa. isnt that still importing? brainless.

  54. dumerang mfwetu says:

    I like that thus good

  55. Frodo says:

    what nonsense! these toddlers don’t even know what the words ‘Inc.’ represent. just get out of there before you waste your parents’ hard earned money on futile ambitions. If it is not the ill-gotten cashgate money. silly kids

  56. Fact says:

    Muvala no dzimenedzo! As for corporate branded T-shirts be ready for competition! Madolo alipo kale!!

  57. Kwame says:

    Yes very good development. But wil you not b relying on china, tz and rsa to import the plain tshirts to come up with the raw materials of plain tshirts to print them?

  58. Daniel Phiri says:

    This is a good initiative. You can marry the strengths of economics to manage the business and Arts to design good attire. I congratulate you boys!

  59. Wailing Soul says:

    That’s now what I call applying theory to practice. Great move young men. I wish you all the best.

  60. Kanyimbi says:

    Nothing so special for a college student here. Please we need scientific innovations for Malawi to develop. This is for a std 8 needle craft student.

  61. Chilungamo says:

    Brilliant idea. We need more young blood like Otiyela in this country. Go Oti goooo!

  62. Nkhombokombo says:

    Nice and Good thinking. Keep it up lads. Malawians, lets support the idea.

  63. Antundile says:

    Get back to your books before I weed you.

  64. Mwalubazi says:

    We need products from genetics of our ancestors. We can do more than thiS, we need more staff than this. Congrants guys T-SOLVA.

  65. Gerald says:

    Kumeneko ndiye. kuganiza bwino. Nthawi zambiri timangomva ayi amagendana ndi a police. congratulations

  66. Kaunjika wanuyu akhale otchipa if your aim is what you really mean!
    Keep it going mwana wa Mtema!

  67. Chabecheker says:

    The author does not mention whether the manufacture of clothing is from local or imported materials;and which college does this brand,is it chancellor college or poly? Plz be clear in ur articles dont keep readers guessing

  68. Gondwe Rumbani says:

    what you are doing is nothing but screen printing on tshirts designed and manufactured elswhere. its not a clothing company but a screen printing shop, no creativity

  69. truth says:

    Look @ the price,o my God.The badness of malawian made goods.kufuna kulemera tsiku limodzi.

  70. Mwiza says:

    Well and good BUT what is not imported on this product? The brand name” USOVA” is rather simplistic, streetwise.

  71. RoyK says:

    Keep it up guys

  72. Dambu says:

    Za ziii!!, ma t-shirt ankaunjika omwewa muchuluke nawo nzeru?!

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