Chenesai, a Shona word which translates to “to clarify| shed light,” is a threefold brand entity located in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa. A fast-rising global brand that houses a fashion anthropology portfolio (Chenesai Clothing and King K ‘Pants Brothers’). It also houses a community upliftment portfolio that is driven by an International Trade and Investment Law in Africa focus. The brand is a confluent production that is a personal reflection of the multi-faceted founder Chenesai Noreen Mukora-Mangoma.
Founded by Noreen Chenesai Mukora-Mangoma, each aspect of the brand draws from her life and educational experiences. Some of the most precious memories from Chenesai’s childhood include visiting and supporting her grandmother Evelyn Mazonde’s stalls at the Harare Gardens and different trade fairs.
Watching her grandmother meticulously carve a successful small- scale trading career, which paved way for her mother’s success and well-being, nurtured within Chenesai, a desire to always want more, not only for herself but for the benefit of those around her. When her grandmother passed on, Chenesai made a commitment to working to increase visibility of small-scale fashion traders as means for them to create legacy businesses.
Fast forward to date, an imprint of her grandmother lives in the different portfolios that have come to constitute the Chenesai Brand. After graduating from high school, Chenesai went on to study Law specializing in International Trade and investment Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria and spent time in the United States working within resource management sphere, as well as with Law firms in Zimbabwe upon her return in 2016.
It wasn’t long before the fashion bug hit, and she took up a business of fashion course in Kenya and began to think of how to combine her passion for fashion with her International Trade and Investment Law in Africa educational background. It took looking within to see how these seemingly disconnected fields could be merged. The human element was the bridge, and from this, the community upliftment portfolio was birthed.
Fashion as a form of expression and promoting African brands, the International Trade and Investment Law in Africa portfolio as a means to create avenues for small scale traders to optimize their output within the value chain and the community upliftment portfolio, focusing on the upliftment of women and girls by increasing market access for micro to small scale fashion traders. Under the community upliftment portfolio, she also curates and implements projects aimed at sustainable empowerment within the community – specializing in solving community-based problems from the ground up, through mutual engagement that leads to ownership and sustainable idea sharing, and her eponymous video podcast aimed at sustaining the voice of hope.
Chenesai’s larger than life personality is evident in everything she touches and pursues, a heart determined to make a mark and spread light for generations to come. To tell stories through her brand, an entity built from passion, intent and purpose. To nurture in others, what she was afforded by her grandmother, opportunity, platforms and success.
what we do
trade & Investment Law
Our expertise in Trade and Investment Law in Africa is vested in a wealth of understanding in how small traders across Zimbabwe operate and an understanding of their problems, as well as innovation around product development and branding, for sustainable export as well as investment.
The African woman has always been a complex multifaceted being. For centuries, her survival has been bold, beautiful and, brilliant. Within her fabric has always been this profound ability to be the seed of nations balanced with reinventing cultures, one generation at a time. Our vision at Chenesai is to remember, recover and reveal that which sustains the African woman through the fashion lens.
Over the years, we’ve had conversations in different settings and places with different people. From each person, our hope, strength and resolve to go on and keep fighting for economic justice for women, to keep increasing visibility of small-scale traders, to tell the African story and to shed our voice to the African narrative has been strengthened. The Chenesai video podcast is a means to give back and to build up a body of work that will celebrate all these experiences and what they have meant to our brand, and how every encounter has been fundamental and will continue giving hope to us.