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