“A hi fambeni.” Xitsonga for “let’s go,” these words have become synonymous with beloved Metro FM breakfast show host, media personality and influencer, Khutso Theledi. Looking for a way to motivate listeners every day when she got her first solo YFM show, Khutso found the perfect words from her grandfather.
“He said: ‘When I tell people who they're going with on the radio, I must tell them they're going with Khutso Theledi, a hi fambeni’,” she recalls. “The phrase stayed in my head. I used it on my first show, and it stuck. After ten years in radio, people don't even call me by my name anymore. They call me A Hi Fambeni.”
Seeking something tangible with which to connect with her fans, Khutso landed on the idea of an A Hi Fambeni fashion line. “I wanted something that people would be able to wear with pride, knowing that this comes from a person that I wake up to listen to every single day,” she says. “It's not even mine, it's theirs, it’s the listeners who created this.” For Khutso, it’s about sharing a piece of herself, her culture, and her loved ones, and spreading a positive message.
Whether you’re feeling down and out or lacking motivation, it’s a way of showing support, of saying, let’s go, I’ve got you, she says. “For me, death is such a scary thing because I lost my father at an early age and so I live every moment to the fullest. That’s why a hi fambeni means so much to me, tomorrow isn't guaranteed so let’s go until the wheels fall off, let's go together because we are one.”
So why launch her own line now? “I think moving to a national radio station to do the biggest breakfast show in the country made me realise that if you believe it, you honestly can achieve it,” says Khutso. “Why not make a bold statement and be able to say it is possible for somebody that isn't in fashion to produce something that they wear proudly. It’s about being fearless and being able to answer the question, ‘why fashion?’ by saying ‘why not?’
Where comfort wear meets sports and leisure, Khutso’s A Hi Fambeni fashion line reflects her personal style. “Everyone knows me as a crop top girl, regardless of the season,” she laughs. Yet working in air-conditioned studio means Khutso needs clothing that provides both warmth and room to breathe as she heats up when the adrenalin of presenting takes over. That’s how she came up with the idea of a crop top tracksuit set.
On the crop track top, the words “A Hi Fambeni” are emblazoned with her initials “KT” below. “I developed the design, and my creative director Lindo Sithole came up with the look and feel of the logo,” she says. “I wanted a sporty, edgy, college kind of feel – whether you’re a teen, well into your 20s or 30s, or an all-round sporty person, this is for you. It’s a standard fit, aimed at making women feel comfortable in their bodies.”
Available in chocolate brown and black, the outfit is a versatile mix and match set that can be worn in numerous ways. The adjustable top and high waist track pants mean you can either wear the top as a crop or you can let it loose to cover your stomach. “This is a dedication to the ladies,” says Khutso, “because I was the first female drive time host do a show solo at my previous radio station YFM. It’s a gift to every woman.” The men are however also in the mix with stylish unisex A Hi Fambeni t-shirts and caps also part of the range. It won’t end there for the gents, with so much more for them coming soon.
Khutso’s fashion advice came from her image consultant and stylist Phophi Mudau. Phophi says that the line’s appeal all comes down to Khutso herself. “She’s got a personality and she’s got a voice, the one thing she’s been using for the longest time,” says Phophi. “Every single person that relates to Khutso, does it through ‘A Hi Fambeni,’ it’s like a motivational tagline. Everybody runs with it because it makes them feel good, it gives them that push they need to get going every day and people love her for that. It’s about Khutso sharing part of herself through clothes – it’s a great gift to her followers.”
Khutso treasures the support from people like Phophi as well as from her Metro FM team, family, and friends. She’s also thrilled to be collaborating with her long-time friend and now business partner, Christopher Mensah, founder of Key Possibilities, an affordable luxury clothing line that places mental health in the spotlight. Key Possibilities is proud to be inhousing Khutso’s A Hi Fambeni line for the duration of this edition.
“This is my legacy,” Khutso concludes. “’A hi fambeni is the reason I get up in the morning. Just to hear one person say those words back to me, gives me the motivation I need to keep going.” This is just the beginning for the A Hi Fambeni brand with lots more in the pipeline for everyone. Watch this space!
Khutso’s A Hi Fambeni line is available at Key Possibilities at their Midrand store at Shop A12, Leogem Innovation Worx, corner Scale and 16th Road or shop online at www.keypossibilities.co.za/khutsotheledi-ahifambenionlineshop nationwide. Visit www.khutsotheledi.com for more information.
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