Fashion Makeover with Dr. Pachanga

by | Apr 17, 2018 | Arts and Culture, Johannesburg, Markets/Shopping, Melville and Surrounds | 14 comments

As I’ve said before, I consider myself to be an unfashionable person. But the longer I live in South Africa, the more fashionable I feel. I find the fashion in South Africa — and Africa in general — more fun than fashion in the United States. (No offense, American fashion designers: It’s not you, it’s me.)

Dr. Pachanga is the embodiment of African fashion I like.

Fashion by Dr. PachangaDr. Pachanga, the last king of Congo.

Handbags from Dr. PachangaHandbags à la Dr. Pachanga.

Dr. Pachanga’s real name is Jean Rene Onyagunga. He was born in Kinshasa but grew up in Durban. Dr. Pachanga is a designer, an entrepreneur, a stylist, an actor, a photographer, and a social media persona.

This photo describes Dr. Pachanga better than my words can.

Dr. Pachanga jumpingDr. Pachanga, aka J.R., aka Doc. “I like to jump,” he told me.

Fashion Spree at Dr. Pachanga

I visited Dr. Pachanga’s shop in 44 Stanley last week to take photos for the Citizen. But somehow I wound up mostly on the wrong side of my camera lens, posing for photos instead of taking them. I also shopped more than I worked.

Heather in a dress from Dr. PachangaI bought this. (Photo by Marie-Lais Emond)

As part of the column she was writing, Marie-Lais asked Dr. Pachanga to “style” us. I was initially nervous. I loved the bright, geometrically patterned poncho-cardigan thing he chose for me, but I was suspicious of the light blue nylon pants. They were sort of tight but sort of loose and had a big bow at the top. Not something I’d normally wear.

But Dr. Pachanga likes to push people outside their fashion comfort zones and who am I to question him. “You’ve got to own it,” he said. So I owned it.

He turned out to be right.

Heather wearing Dr. Pachanga
I’ve been Dr. Pachanga’ed. (Photo by Dr. Pachanga)

I left Dr. Pachanga wishing I could stay all day. Besides the clothes, I just loved everything about being there — the pleasant light in the shop, the unpretentiousness, the color, the fun, Dr. Pachanga himself and his lovely assistant Thembi.

I don’t feel motivated to shop very often, people. When I do feel it, you know that place is on point. Go visit the Doc and you won’t be sorry.

Dr. Pachanga in his shopBy the way, he does men’s fashion too.

Dr. Pachanga is in the 44 Stanley Avenue complex in Milpark.


  1. Julie

    Yeah, Dr. Pachaga! Heather, I love that stripy orange dress on you, did you buy it?

    • 2summers


    • 2summers


  2. eremophila

    Oh yes!! You look fab in his gear, great choices.

    • 2summers

      Thanks 🙂

  3. autumnashbough

    I am definitely not a bow person, but I love your pants! What a great outfit.

    • 2summers

      Yeah, strange how that bow actually worked!

  4. Ilze Venter

    I adore the outfit he chose for you (pants and top). It creates such a “soft” air around you 😉
    I know this is a JHB blog but I have been to his store in Menlyn Mall in Pta too. So maybe worth a mention for your Pta fans.

    PS: There a Big Big sale at the store on the day I was there. Not sure that it was a end of season sale or a closing down sale.

    • 2summers

      Oh yes! He did mention he has a store there. I’ll add it.

  5. Lani

    OMG! *screams* Makeover time! Woot woot!

    You look fabulous, darling, fabulous. Bring on the color!

    • 2summers

      Hahaha, thanks ????????

  6. Jen Biggs

    Dude what are you even talking about? You look awesome. Get it girllll ????

    • 2summers

      Hahaha, thanks 🙂



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