Thobeka Mbane's Style Guide for the AFI MMA Black Carpet

Thobeka Mbane's Style Guide for the AFI MMA Black Carpet

Olwethu Mbane

Thobeka Mbane describes herself as an African Fashion Cultural Strategist. She is a South African freelance stylist and Creative Director, who is known for her vibrant approach to fashion.

From collaborating Zozibini Tunzi, Nomzamo Mbatha, Lalah Hathaway, Elsa Majimbo, Sho Madjozi and Sabrina Elba, to name a few, she offers a unique perspective on how to truly shine at a high wattage event. 


READ: All You Need To Know About the AFI Fashion Experience at MMA 2024

Mbane's ability to blend traditional African elements with modern trends sets her apart in the industry. Her keen eye for detail and passion for showcasing the beauty of African culture shines through in all of her creations.

Whether it's styling a red carpet event or directing a photoshoot, she knows how to make her clients truly shine at any high wattage event. 


It therefore made sense that we would turn to her for style insights ahead of the Metro FM Music Awards (MMA).

Not only is she styling some of the celebrities who will be making an appearance on the MMA stage, but she would understand how to decipher the ‘Black To The Future’ theme.

As the official host of the AFI MMA Black Carpet, Africa Fashion International (AFI) will be live on the black carpet to capture every moment.

The pre-awards event will set the stage for nominees and VIPs to flaunt their bold style and statement pieces ahead of the awards ceremony.


We asked Thobeka to share her red carpet prep secrets and expert advice to help you own your moment on the AFI MMA Black Carpet.

What differentiates your styling work from other stylists?

To be honest, I mostly focus on women and queer bodies. And I love colour.  

When you are briefed to style someone for a red/black carpet, what comes to mind? 

What do they like?  As much as you need to stick or follow a brief, I like putting someone in something they’d be proud of, something that still feels very them but enhanced.  

What are some of your tips for someone walking the AFI Metro FM Music Awards Black Carpet?

Follow the brief! No matter how fashionable you are, if you are not on theme, it doesn’t count. 

What are the "do's and don'ts" on any red carpet for a perfect picture moment?

One important do: If you’re using your phone, please make sure you wipe your camera.

One important don’t: Do not over edit your images.

With her creativity and passion for storytelling through clothing, there's no doubt that Thobeka Mbane will continue to make waves in the world of African fashion for years to come. 


Follow AFI on social media to follow every part of the AFI Fashion Experience in Mbombela

Instagram: @afi_sa

X: @afi_sa

Facebook: Africa Fashion International

YouTube: African Fashion International 

Header Image: Provided by Thobeka Mbane. Image by Paul Samuels.
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