UFH’s trendy graduand gets recognition from international clothing retailer, John Craig

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Benathi Makiyela, a UFH Agricultural Economics graduand who made name for himself as an award-winning studentprenuer with a flair for fashion was recently named the winner of the “Styled By Me” - John Craig competition for up-and-coming fashion influencers with an eye for detail and an inspired sense of style.

John Craig – a men's clothing retailer that offers the best brands and stylish fashion – from casual to smart as well as footwear, accessories and more.

The competition sees two contestants selected from around South Africa go head-to-head to style each other based on a brief provided by the judge on the day.

The 26-year-old from Mount-Frere (KwaBhaca), also known as “Gosa­_we_style” earned a spot in the John Craig competition after his content, pictures of him dressed to the nines, on Instagram caught the eye of the clothing brand.

His content is named “Painting the world with colours” and his style focuses on vintage and sartorialism, with the majority of his outfits being tailor-made.

“I would sometimes tag John Craig on some of the content I post. They obviously took note and were impressed by my style because I received a DM (direct message) requesting that I email my profile to the Marketing Manager. I was then selected to be part of the competition.”

Benathi was announced the winner of the competition’s season 2, episode 1 which was shoot in Southgate in Johannesburg last month (February) where he went against a Pretoria based influencer.

This is not the first time he has made name for himself, last year, Benathi completed his final year on a high note when he placed 2nd in the National Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) InterVarsity 2022 Competition’s Social Impact category for his great business innovation: "Makiyela Recycling" which transforms old tyres into beautiful decor and furniture.

The EDHE programme is piloted by Universities South Africa (USAf) with the aim of developing the entrepreneurial capacity of students by encouraging them to participate in entrepreneurial activities as a strategy to advance the economy.

The young fashionista is also a founding member of the Fort Hare Dandies – a group of young UFH male students who dress stylishly and are steadfast in changing society’s perception of men by the way they present themselves and also by initiating outreach programmes.

In addition to a prize money, as a winner, he also gave John Craig the right to use his photos and videos to promote their clothing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, in-store advertising, out-of-home advertising, and broadcast television.

“I am honoured to receive this recognition from such a reputable clothing brand that has been around for decades. This serves as validation that there is a place for my sense of style, which is to bring colour into the world of those that are around me.”