Wilson Chipangura, Guest Reporter
SHANGHAI – South African creative entrepreneur Perpetua Mbali has become a pioneer of African culture in China through her AfroAsian Book Trail Club meant to fight stereotyping of the two continents.
Mbali who is a model, head-wrap artist, writer and art director has been making waves in the Asia-Pacific region for promoting reading and exchange of cultural views with the aim of enlightening people.
Currently, the AfroAsian Book Trail Club is focusing on reading of literature from Africa and Asia with members converging on Sundays to discuss various issues from a specific book.
Identifying herself as a rainbow of love, Mbali said the book trail was meant to foster ties between people of different backgrounds.
“I realised after coming to China that the story of Africa is not properly configured here and in the same way their story is generally distorted. It was therefore imperative to promote reading because that is how one can be educated about reality,” said Mbali.
Mbali has also been trending online for her unique African head-wrap fashion gear which many Asian and European folks find attractive.
“The head-wrapping is not something I would call an endeavour but maybe I should take it seriously. I was doing it for fun recording videos and didn’t expect them to get as much traction as they did honestly.
“I was joking around when I did it but since it’s lockdown here in Shanghai maybe I will have to do it again,” she said.
Mbali migrated to China after falling on hard times in South Africa due to various issues emanating from graduating into adulthood and eventually becoming destitute.
The versatile Mbali who was recently nominated for the Pride of Africa awards also opened up on her modelling endevour which was not rosy.
“I am modelling and it’s quite interesting being an African model here. I was told it will never work and got rejected by many agencies but it eventually happened, I would say miraculously,” Mbali explained.
Mbali received Pride of Africa Award nomination for African Personality of the Year while her AfroAsian concept was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Arts & Culture category.