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UKZN Fashion Designer Earns BSc Honours



UKZN Fashion Designer Earns BSc Honours

UKZN Fashion Designer Earns BSc Honours. The recent graduation ceremony saw Ms. Khanyile adorned in the stylish footwear of her own creation from Afrikan Passion Designs, a brand that has been making waves in the eco-fashion scene. Her journey to this point has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by a passionate commitment to both her scientific pursuits and her entrepreneurial endeavors.

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From Passion to Purpose

Hailing from Ulundi, Ms. Khanyile interest in science was ignited by the pressing health challenges she witnessed in her community, including the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the loss of her sister to cervical cancer. These experiences fueled her determination to contribute to the field of biochemistry, particularly in the realm of disease prevention and treatment.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

But Ms. Khanyile ambitions extended beyond the laboratory. Even in her youth, she displayed a natural flair for entrepreneurship, establishing her first business while still in high school. It was during her university years that she joined forces with Mr. Nisbert Kembo to co-found Afrikan Passion Designs, a venture inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the Nguni people and a deep concern for the environment.

A Rising Star in Fashion and Science

The success of Afrikan Passion Designs quickly gained recognition, with Ms. Khanyile earning accolades such as the Durban Youth Connect Innovative Business Competition in 2019 and a prestigious spot among the top 50 Design Indaba Emerging Creatives in 2020. Her participation in events like the Design Indaba Conference and Africa’s Travel Indaba further solidified her brand’s reputation both locally and internationally.

Expanding Horizons

The exposure garnered from these events propelled Afrikan Passion Designs onto the global stage, attracting a diverse clientele and establishing a reputation for quality and reliability. With the support of various organizations and initiatives, including Design Indaba and SA Tourism, the brand expanded its presence to physical locations across Durban.

Combining Science and Artistry

Ms. Khanyile’s academic pursuits did not take a backseat to her entrepreneurial endeavors. Her honours studies provided her with the opportunity to delve into nanoscience, culminating in a groundbreaking project on green nanoparticle synthesis. This fusion of science and creativity exemplifies her multifaceted approach to problem-solving and innovation.

Looking Ahead

As she embarks on the next chapter of her journey, Ms. Khanyile remains steadfast in her commitment to merging her scientific expertise with her passion for fashion. Her aspirations include further academic pursuits and research aimed at combating diseases like cervical cancer, inspired by trailblazers in the field such as Dr. Yanga Mdleleni.


In Nombuso Khanyile, we find not just a fashion designer or a scientist, but a true visionary whose dedication to her craft and her community knows no bounds. Her story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, creativity, and the unwavering belief in one dreams.

As she continues to make strides in both the scientific and entrepreneurial realms, one thing is certain – the world has only just begun to witness the impact of this remarkable talent.

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