Dr. Precious Moloi Motsepe is partnering with Global Citizen, which aims to end extreme poverty by 2030.
Through the Motsepe Foundation, where she serves as co-founder and chief executive officer, the doctor, fashion entrepreneur and philanthropist will help support the South African edition of Global Citizens Festival, which will celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. She will get on stage this weekend at the New York edition of the festival, which will feature performers from Janet Jackson, Janelle Monae, The Weeknd, Cardi B and more, to speak about the partnership,
“I went to the festival before and I was really impressed with their model of convening young people around the issues and ensuring that leaders in business and politics connect with young people and young people hold them accountable,” said Dr. Motsepe, who was recently named co-chairman of the Maverick Collective by outgoing co-chair Melinda Gates. “We thought it would be best to take the Global Citizens Festival to South Africa in celebration of Nelson Mandela. In Africa, the youth population is huge and we need to ensure they are educated and engaged.”
The festival in South Africa will take place on December 2 and feature performances from Jay-Z, Beyonce, Usher, Wizkid, Ed Sheeran, Femi Kuti, Pharrell, Chris Martin, Tiwa Savage and more.
While Motsepe started her career in medicine as a hospital physician and general practitioner, and opened the first women’s health clinic in Johannesburg, she transitioned into fashion entrepreneurship with African Fashion International, which aims to bring African fashion brands to the global stage. AFI owns Joburg fashion week, which takes place each year in October, and Cape Town fashion week, which takes place each year in March. Each platform highlights designers from all over Africa. Designers including, Thebe Magugu, Rich Mnisi and Tuelo Nguyuza have benefited from the platform by being able to maintain a sustainable business and expand distribution.
“I realized that just working in health would not help me achieve what I wanted to do, which was really helping communities be self sustaining. I do have a passion for fashion and I realized early on that we have a lot of talented designers in Africa so I started with a fashion week platform,” said Motsepe. “Fashion is one of those industries that is a huge polluter, but there are opportunities to bring back manufacturing to developing countries, which can offer work to large amounts of people since it’s so labor intensive.”
AFI recently partnered with Fashion 4 Development, a private global platform that supports the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. This collaboration coupled designers from Africa with luxury brands including Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo and Bottega Veneta. The designers were tasked with creating looks to match handbags from these brands. Motsepe said before Azzedine Alaia passed, he was open to taking on one or two designers who showed with AFI to work in his studio.
“I love his clothes and he’s someone I got to know over the years,” said Motsepe. “It was such a big loss so we are continuously looking at big designers who will take on young designers and give them training.”
Motsepe said she’s currently in talks with Diane von Furstenberg about possible partnerships and said ever since the release of “Black Panther,” there has been an increased interest in African designers. Motsepe is trying to leverage that interest and also work with government agencies in Africa to help support businesses, specifically when it comes to trade and distribution.
“The government has come to realize that this is a sector that requires their assistance and they are strongly behind it,” said Motsepe. “The internet has also made a huge difference and allowed designers to reach markets outside of their geographic regions.”