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.
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.
“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.
“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.”