Young men and women had a chance to shine at a modelling show in Khayelitsha.
Ashes For Beauty, at Harare Square on Saturday December 3, was organised by fashion designer Nomgcobo Tukulula as part of her efforts to help troubled youth in the community.
Ms Tukulula, who has her own clothing line, said she had long been worried about young people in Harare who were involved in drugs and crime and she had decided to act.
She had started talking them, trying to understand their backgrounds and the reasons for their problems with substance abuse, and she held workshops on fashion and art to help them develop their skills.
“I wanted to use my skill of fashion to lure them and drive social change,” she said. “The aim is to impact change, remind them that there is beauty in living and that there is always an opportunity to live better and healthy and free from drug addictions – if only they could be brave enough to make a change. We are using fashion, art and motivation as a driving force for hope.
“I want to inspire them to dream again and know that they still very much have time in their lives to turn their lives around.”
One of the participants in the event, Thokozile Xhego, said he had started smoking drugs due to peer pressure and had then been hooked, but after attending some of the workshops he had been motivated to quit.
He said he knew it would not be easy but he was willing to try and stop and make his parents proud.
Another participant, Kuhle Kilana, 18, said she was a heavy drinker but she felt inspired to work on her dream of becoming a model and a beacon of hope in the community.