By Kennedy Nyavaya
Bulawayo-bred songstress Sandra Ndebele says she is unfazed by negative reviews sparked by her choice of dress at the National Arts Merit Awards ceremony a fortnight ago.
Fashion bloggers, some sections of the media and members of the public took to different platforms ridiculing the diva for spotting a tight jumpsuit on stage while she was presenting an award.
Ndebele, whose career has always raised moral questions owing to her gyrating dance moves and skimpy traditional costumes, told The Standard Style that society should not dictate what she wore.
“Dressing is what you are comfortable in and what I wore on that night made me feel good, but people are bound to say bad stuff always. It is something I am used to since long back,” she said, adding that the “fuss” might have been triggered by her long absence from the stage.
“I think personally it had been long since they saw me on stage and that is why it created so much talk.”
Ndebele said she had never heard glowing comments about female dressing from the “fashion police” and blamed the negative attitude for the few women in the industry.
“That is why you realise there are not many female musicians because of such judgements and because our culture is overprotective. You never hear such stories about our male counterparts,” she said.
True to her sentiments, local women — especially celebrities — are usually subject to criticism when they dress in an eccentric manner.
At foreign awards like the recently-held Metro FM awards in South Africa, female celebs wear eye-catching dressing exposing flesh, but it is ironically lauded.
The template of how people should dress to be labelled “classy” remains a mystery, but the local debate seemingly stems from a national identity crisis as uncertainty plagues the definition of the national dress.
Meanwhile, Ndebele is set to bounce back to the music scene on Wednesday when she releases a song titled Ingoma.
The single, which was recorded by Oskid, is her first project since she moved from Bulawayo to Harare late last year.