Mr Kata revives Cal Vin’s fashion label Mike Kata aka Mr Kata

Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
Zim hip-hop artiste, Mr Kata (real name Mbongeni Michael Katandika) has revived the late rap king, Cal Vin’s clothing label, Grade Street Collection so as to keep the artiste’s legacy alive.

The late music superstar formed the label that also had the Ndebele Rap brand around 2014.

“Grade Street is derived from life experiences. I was doing grades at school and spent the most part of my life in the streets elokshini. I have a thing for fashion which I think I got from my father who always had an eye for co-ordinating things.

“I just like looking good and I enjoy showcasing every talent I have. I do all my designs,” Cal Vin was quoted saying as he was preparing to launch the label.

However, after launching it, it seems he then decided to abandon the project, probably due to lack of support.

Bulawayo-based Mr Kata who is known for his Zvanhuwa Fashion label which in 2018 scooped an award for the Best Brand Supporting Zim hip-hop at the Zim Hip Hop Awards is giving the label another try.

Under the label’s collection are a selection of hip-hop regalia such as snapbacks and t-shirts. The Banjalo Abantu tagline has also been added onto the Grade Street collection.

When Cal Vin died last year following a mysterious hit and run accident, most people got to understand the lyrics of his Banjalo Abantu track. It became the song of the moment hence Mr Kata decided to rope in that tag line.

Yesterday, Mr Kata told Chronicle Showbiz that he recently had a meeting with Cal Vin’s mother, Sinikiwe Luphahla to discuss the fashion business. He said all he wants is to ensure the business is revived and sustains the family’s livelihood.

“Cal Vin was my biggest brand ambassador and he always pulled through especially in times of need. So when he passed away, I decided to do something to honour him. I remembered that he had a label he once pushed but stopped as he focussed more on music,” said Mr Kata

He said when he told Cal Vin’s mother about his decision to start a business for her using her son’s merchandise, she was clueless and asked him to talk to Cal Vin’s baby mama, Chantel Antonio who knew about the project.

Mr Kata said he has since been given the go ahead and has started promoting the brand.

“After she agreed for us to run with the idea, we printed some T-shirts and gave her to sell. We also gave away some to personalities like Takura and Mss Pryde and models to promote the label.”

In order to ensure that the business runs successfully, Mr Kata said he has connected Cal Vin’s mother to people who are responsible for the printing of his merchandise.

Through this gesture, Mr Kata said he hopes Cal Vin’s family members will run the fashion label well and even set up a shop in future. – @mthabisi_mthire.

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