BULAWAYO – Our Bulawayo reporter Jeffrey Muvundusi spoke to Bulawayo socialite Gilmore Tee Moyo.
Q: Who is Gilmore Tee Moyo?
A: I am a social entrepreneur, curator, host, arts facilitator, public relations consultant and global citizen who has a strong passion for sustainable development, have a strong voice and ready to work. I was born to a strong woman (my mother) on March 21, 1990 and the last born in a family of four.
Being the last born, I have always had to go an extra mile in making sure that my voice is heard clearly, this influenced my involvement in a lot of spotlight activities since my primary school days at McKeaurtan School.
I speak over seven languages and hold qualifications in French and Development studies.
I speak in third person because this is the person everybody has gotten to know, with the other being an introvert.
Q: Tell us more about your organisation, Hunnar Management Agency what is it all about?
A: Hunnar Management Agency was established in 2013 as a private limited company which specialises in PR services, events coordination and branding. The name Hunnar is a Persian word for talent; hence our ultimate goal is to concentrate on people’s capabilities in bringing about a sustainable effect to what they naturally can do. Some of our clients are International Touring Group — Nobuntu, award-winning designer Brands — Ara Kani, Sanah Designs, Mbo Mahocs, Charmaine Fynn and Shadow by Sidumiso.
Q: What have you achieved since launching Hunnar?
A: As an establishment, we are the curators of the Intwasa Fashion Show, The Quality Assurance Workshops and iPop Up, amongst many. We also facilitate for Zimbabwean Fashion to access new local and international markets.
We boast having worked with South African Menswear Week, Mercedes Benz Africa Week, Tshwane Fashion Festival, Ekurhuleni Fashion Festival, Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe, HIFashion at Harare International Festival of teh Arts and Durban Fashion Fair.
Q: In some sectors you are known as a socialite, in others as a presenter, and to some a public relations consultant among other things, does that show how talented you are or how desperate times have become in modern Zimbabwe where one needs to multi-task to survive?
A: Ha Ha, you’re actually funny. I strongly believe that this demonstrates my strength in communication skills, hence in all the areas you mentioned above, communication is involved at different levels.
My love for talking and being opinionated has resulted in too many opportunities availing themselves. With that, I have done radio hosting on radio and done some freelance TV hosting.
I am a familiar face at the Zimbabwe Music Awards where I guest present and host the Red Carpet.
Conversely, I should not run away from the fact that being Zimbabwean means you gotta know how to do almost everything, but I always try to specialise in my area of expertise.
Q: You and Mbo Mahocs have been close associates, what brings or keeps you that close, rather what common things do you guys share?
A: Mbo Mahocs is a special being in my life, we met early 2000s and she is one of the very few people I have allowed in my space. I am one of those people that are blunt with their opinions and the way they feel about certain things.
Amongst a few close people to me, she got that and never took offence like many do. I appreciate self-driven beings; in general I don’t like clowns because I don’t have a circus to entertain them in.
I am also a strong believer of climbing up the ladder with people that have been there for you since inception, she is my day 1 so expect more of her in my dealings.
Q: You have been one consistent face at Intwasa Arts Festival, how did you start the Intwasa Fashion show and how has it been going so far?
A: That’s humbling to hear. I love art and my cry is for people in the creative industries to grow their brands to the extent that their skills sustain them. I had been away for a while and after coming back to Zimbabwe in 2014, I sat down with my small Hunnar team and we decided to approach the Intwasa Arts Festival on producing the fashion show.
I personally did not like that fashion was not being given just as equal attention as other artistic genres. After all, we all walk out clothed, if fashion was not or is not that important, we should then walk naked.
The fashion show has grown to become one of the leading fashion events in Zimbabwe, with lots of support from the clothing industry and outside world.
Q: You work closely with Sanah Designs, Ara Kani, BlinQ, Snini Collection, Mosi Designs and Shadow by Sidumiso, what have you contributed in their career?
A: I have personal stories to share about how I met each of them.
Some of these guys, I spotted them on social media, others I met at an event and others growing up in the same neighbourhood. I am blessed with the ability of spotting potential from afar.
With these incredible brands, we (Hunnar) have managed to properly brand their products, took them through training and polished their skills. My team and I realised that the market is already there and we used our networks and channels to push these brands.
Q: What do you think about the fashion industry in Zimbabwe?
A: With incredible fashion leaders such as Shamiso Ruzvidzo and Mellisa Muzingi, Zimbabwean fashion is headed towards the right direction. Our designers just need to continue working on their quality and also approach the industry as a business not a hobby.
Designers such as Maita Marimo, DeMoyo, Ganu, Sanah Designs, Ara Kani, Ndau Collection and Taf the Tailor, have done well in representing Zimbabwe.
Q: Who inspires you in this fashion industry?
A: I am inspired by individuals that stick to who they are and allow that to shine through this globalised world we now live in.
Individuals such as Simon and Jen Deiner, Nkululeko Ncube, Kudzai Chaks, Ndau Collection, Jan Millan, Alek Wek and that young person striving to be a better individual through their skill, inspire me daily.
Q: Given the opportunity what would you want to see happening in the fashion industry?
A: I would love to see a situation where our designers are relevant to their geographic location and market, also having a full understanding of who the king is between them and the client
Q: What’s special about the city of Bulawayo the place you have called home for years considering that some of your products like Sanah designs have moved to Harare? Are we going to see you in the near future relocating?
A: I have had the privilege of travelling to different places, so this has brought some high level of patriotism in me. There is no place like home, also home is safe and sound all the time. It’s always important to get a breather from your place here and there, I do that a lot, but I do not see myself moving away permanently from Bulawayo. Zimbabwe needs me and I need Bulawayo. But, one should never say, never.
Q: Any new projects to expect from you?
A: For years, I have been working on a collaborated Menswear Collection which I should launch in the last quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.
I am also part of an incredible TV Show called Thatha Wena, with the incredible Nkanyeziyethu Malunga, Tswarelo Mothobe, CoZim Functions, Johanne Mpofu and of course, Mbo Mahocs.
Lastly, I am working towards getting myself into permanent radio and television. All in God’s time!
Q: What advice do you have to those who aspire to be like you?
A: Aspire to be better than I am, but remember that wherever you end up, it is you and those who love you that brought you there!
Q: And lastly, your parting shot?
A: Have control over what you take out to the world. Social media has allowed us to share what we want, instead, use it to build your brand and connect with people.