SISTERBEN- INDIVIDUAL EXPRESSION THROUGH CLOTHING
By: Sbongakonke Mbatha
Sisterben is a direct metaphor of how homosexuality is accepted by the law but still disapproved of by society.
Sisterben is a clothing movement born in Durban in 2012 but its presence is felt in every gay pride event around the country. Itis a lifestyle and an intellectual trend that appeals to even those on the other side of the fence.
Nosipho Ndlovu, a Durban University of Technology graduate, is the bright spark behind the creation of Sisterben. She is the founder and creative director of this clothing line.
Sisterben was born through a conversation that Ndlovu had with a friend about changing the language with regards to all the derogatory and pffensive words used to describe homosexuals. So what is Sisterben? Sisterben is a revolution that hasn’t yet been televised.
“If you say Sisterben fast enough it sounds like you’re saying, ‘iStabane.’ We are trying to change the language and be called Sisterben instead,” said Ndlovu.
Ndlovu describes Sisterben as a way of life for the street smart to the world class, and an expression of what one has said countless times in their head but failed to express.
She says Sisterben is style defined by the individual. Sisterben is pride.
“The name itself is androgynous- sister for the feminine element and Ben for the masculine element. Ben is the voice for the oppressed. It screams “be yourself.” Be whoever you want to be. Define your individuality,” said Ndlovu.
There should be no boundaries or limits to self-expression. Sisterben breaks and dissolves those boundaries. The label shouts: Be the revolution! Be the change! Be Sisterben!
“If you are trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you are,” said Ndlovu.
The brand revolves around love. All those who are part of the movement share the same love. Love that is real, honest and brave.