Irrepressible Pokello

HARARE - Love her or hate her, one cannot just ignore her.

Her charm is not derived from the fact that she has flawless skin and looks like she has been shooting pictures for a fashion magazine all the time.

Pokello Nare simply has got it.

She has literally taken the Harare fashion scene by storm as is evidenced by the more than 10 000 followers she has on her Facebook page.

Her name has been associated with a lot of things both good and bad but I guess that makes her human like the rest of us.

After having followed Nare on her Facebook page Addicted to Shoes, I decided to visit her shop in Borrowdale.

I however did not find her at the shop and left a message with her Sales assistant for her to contact me as I was keen on interviewing her.

A month went by and I heard nothing from her.

I visited her shop again last month after a friend had informed me of a massive sale the fashionista was holding.

I went to the shop hoping to catch a glimpse of Nare who has been featured in many media reports.

It was not till my third visit to the shop which is literally a shoe haven as one can find all sorts of shoes ranging from labels such as Zara, Prada, Christian Loubouitin among others.

On my first encounter with her, I realised that just like most women who try to blaze a new trail, she had been seriously misrepresented by the media.

She smiled affectionately at almost everyone she came across,  revealing another side of her which has never been written about.

One would expect that after revealing that I was from the media she would have changed her attitude towards me.

But she maintained her cool and politely told me that she did not do media interviews.

She only agreed to an interview after assurance that the interview was purely about fashion.

After the encounter I realised Nare is not just another pretty face without brains but is a Monash University graduate of Business studies and was not the media attention-seeking type.

She struck me as a composed and apt businesswoman who like the rest of us was doing her best to succeed.

The first thing I wanted to know, was how did she always manage to look her best at all times?  

Asked about essential pieces women needed for work she said: “You always need to have a clean look, a white blouse says a lot, it is very clean and sophisticated and you can never go wrong with it.”

She advised the white blouse or shirt could be paired with black pants or a pencil skirt for work purposes.

Nare avidly follows United Kingdom-based fashion blogger Soraya de Cavalho among other fashionistas  and spoke about the colour blocking craze that has hit Harare like a storm.

“Colour blocking should stop, when you are wearing more than four colours you are not colour blocking, you are colour shocking.

“There are colours that never go together, you cannot block red and purple,” she said.

Nare, who is the official face of the Ndeipi/Zvirisei sei brand, emphasised that the idea behind colour blocking was about mixing and matching and not mixing and shocking.

The businesswoman who intends to introduce a clothes section in her shop is also serious about empowering other Zimbabwean women.

She told the Weekend Post that unlike her shoes which she imports from the United Kingdom and United States of America; all her clothes will be manufactured locally.

Starting from April this year, the mother to a ten-year-old boy will stock clothes made by Zimbabwean designers, Maita Marimo and Danai Chapfika.

“My  goal and vision is  to elevate the Zimbabwean woman, to empower her through  image and to be proud to be Zimbabwean and yet stand firmly next to other women in the world such as American, Russian and Arabic women who are considered the most fashionable,” she said.

Nare who has six pageant titles to her name went on to say; “Why do we lag behind when we all as women have access to water, soap, lotion and makeup?

“Why are we in awe of international fashionistas when we as Zimbabwean women are easily capable of that?
“Our mindset is our biggest setback.

“We praise and idolise when it is being done by Beyonce but locally perceive it as seeking attention and validation. We have no appreciation for our own kind and that is our biggest demise.” — Weekendpost

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