Photo by Kwesi Yanful.
Mizizi’s New Baseball Jersey Celebrates South Africa’s Heritage Day
The sportswear brand turns to South Africa for its latest drop, a sartorial love letter that draws inspiration from the country’s rich culture and political past.
Heritage Day in South Africa is held every September 24 to remember and celebrate the country’s cultural heritage. Since 1995, it’s marked as a public holiday routinely accompanied by local events and hangouts across the country in a leisurely, spirited fashion.
Sportswear company Mizizi are joining in the celebrations with the release of a new baseball jersey. Known for their African-inspired designs and motifs incorporated into sportswear codes, helping Africans in the diaspora connect with their roots and identity, they have unveiled another sartorial incarnation for South Africa.
It’s a sleek baseball jersey, mirroring the iconic colors of green, gold, and white as a tribute to Springbok, the nation’s rugby team. Their victories have not only unified South Africa, but also served as a source of inspiration for generations.
“We got a lot of feedback from our audience saying that they wanted something for South Africa, so we dived deep to learn about the nation’s rich history and figured out how we could incorporate different aspects of it into a jersey design, as well as the visual campaign,” says Paakow Essandoh, the brand’s founder.
At OkayAfrica, we have been documenting the growth of Mizizi since 2015 along with their unique sartorial viewpoint. Releasing products between streetwear and sportswear ranges, the African brand has been involved in high-level creative collaborations. In 2018, and due to popular demand, it partnered with Marvel for their Black Panther-inspired baseball jersey.
And in 2019, they released a unisex jersey to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the classic animation The Lion King.
“This year has been a year of partnerships though,” the Ghanaian-American creative continues, “We’ve been in discussion with companies across all industries, from sports to travel, to see how we can come together to launch projects that tell different and unique African stories. Be on the lookout come 2024 and 2025!”
Aside from capturing Mzansi culture, the baseball jersey is a nod to South Africa severing its ties with apartheid. It proudly features the prominent ‘94 on the back, symbolizing the pivotal year when South Africa embarked on its journey towards democracy, a time that forever altered the course of the nation’s history.
Further, the jersey pays homage to the enduring influence of Pantsula. It incorporates the distinctive apartheid-era visual aesthetics, which emerged in Black townships, but has since evolved into a form of cultural expression with staple pieces like bucket hats and oversized workwear.
Modeled by F.C. Dallas star Nkosi “Kos” Tafari, Joseph Squire, and Francois Francois, get the baseball jersey on their official website: www.mizizishop.com
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