UMP has announced that social influencer Ben Wandawanda has been designated to receive the UMP Awards 2019 Fashion Icon award.
This is to recognise Wandawanda's significant impact on fashion and style consciousness in Malawi throughout this year.
Among some of the impressive people he worked with this year is Africa's top men's designer Sheria Ngowi. The two collaborated on the upcoming Dynasty SS20 with Wandawanda as Co-Creative Director.
Wandawanda's choice is said to be a result of a careful and thorough consultative process, involving several industry experts and stakeholders.
"Sincerely, from 2009 UMP brand has become a highly-coveted platform for honouring excellence and accomplishments in Malawi and SADC urban fashion, music, and culture, " UMP co-founder Zizwa Limame said.
Reacting to the announcement Wandawanda said: "I'm chuffed, so to speak, especially knowing and accepting that fashion is not universal, but rather wide and diverse. That said, I'm grateful for the recognition...to the extent that if it doesn't inspire some people to reflect on how they show up, then it provokes thought and conversation."
Quizzed on his fashion style, Wandawanda explained: "My fashion style is unconventional, daring and laced with some bright colors. It is also diverse and often times pushes the envelope. Almost invariably, I can tell a story about every outfit."
On Malawi Fashion future, he said: "We have a lot of established and upcoming fashion designers, and graphic artists converting their art into 'fashion'.
"Just so much exciting stuff going on. I think we are going through a revolution in the industry in Malawi and the future is bright."
The 2019 awards will be held on Saturday, 14th December at Crossroads Hotel, Blantyre from 7 to 11 pm.
Mary Chilima, wife to former Vice President Saulos Chilima was the 2018 recepient of the prestigous award.