Lira talks about fashion, music, and the legacy of Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela is the symbol of south Africa's struggle against apartheid. He has inspired generations for decades and continues to be a central figure in the lives of people of all races all over the world. July 18th was celebrated as Nelson Mandela International Day. It also marked the official premier of the fashion brand 466/64. the numbers are the actual prison ID of Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment on Robben Island. The event was hosted by the South African Consulate in NY.  The Consul General George Monyemangene along with the honorable minister and Consul staff welcomed guests and media.  Representing the brand were; Wayne Bebb, Brand ID CEO and master license holder, Erin Patton Company B CEO and North American license holder Sam Sarpong, Supermodel, 466/64 fashion spokesperson, and Lira, South African Multi-Platinum vocalist.

The event also coincided with Nelson Mandela's birthday, and the day that customers in the U. S. and Canada would be able to purchase shirts, pants, and dresses with a uniquely African flair. There are blazers that feature a map of Africa in the lining.  The T-shirts with have bold graphics and  hidden collars that carry the ID tag 466/64, or words like "dignity". Seven percent of the global funds generated by the brand will go towards projects that will benefit  disadvantaged communities across South Africa. The line will only be available online for now, but the brand plans to move into stores by February of 2013. The brand also has plans to expand to other parts of Southern Africa and South America.

To help spread the mission statement, Wayne Bebb enlisted Multi-Platinum South African vocalist Lira to be part of the promotion effort for the brand. Having recently been nominated for both the South African Music Awards, and the BET awards here in the U. S. he couldn't have made a better choice.  Lira is a woman of music and fashion, so it was only natural that we take a few minutes to ask her thoughts on this important day.  We gained some insight into the  venture that is seeking to place South Africa in the global marketplace.  466/64 is about sustaining the legacy of Nelson Mandela, this is something that carries a great deal of meaning for Lira which is why she has chosen to be part of this campaign.

POSH : How did it feel when you were asked to help promote the 466/64 clothing line?

Lira : Amazing,  they earmarked me for the launch. They know what I stand for and what my brand stands for. I remember them saying come perform, come get a feel, get a look at it and see how you feel. So I was at the launch, and I started wearing the clothes and I thought this is really powerful. I think more than anything it is a huge honor. Madiba is a personal icon of mine, so to be able to do something that's so closely associated with him  is a huge opportunity. I also recognize the responsibility that it comes with. I'm also honored that they see that my part in this and what I do is very much in line with  the brand so they can trust me.
POSH : you have just released an album in the U. S, how soon do you  think you'll return to perform?
Lira : Yes my album was released here about a week ago, it's that recent. I think I'll be back in October, but my website is the best place to get info on all that stuff. As soon as our dates are confirmed we'll have them up on the website. I look forward to coming back here and just spreading my wings and sharing my music. I feel like I'm getting a lot of love from the media, but people are just not hearing the music. They're not hearing it live, I can't wait for that. Usually when I come here it just makes sense to stay here for a while, I'll stay for a few months if possible. 
POSH : Now that your album has been released in the U. S what are you working next?
Lira :  What I'm really excited about is the release of my first concert film. It's coming out on July 23, it's Africa's first concert film. I know a lot of concert films tend to focus on the artist, but I went completely the other way. I focused on the fans, I focused on the relationship I have with the fans. So people get to see themselves in that, and the appreciation I have for what they have allowed me to do. So yes it's completely for the fans.
POSH : How would you describe the message of the 466/64 brand and the legacy of Nelson Mandela to the people living in the United States and the rest of the world?
Lira: The legacy and the message of  Mandela is that it's in our hands. My thing is that often we complain about the state of the world very seldom do we do something about it. This is just an opportunity to do what you would do anyway, in terms of buying clothes. Do something like this very conscientiously knowing that it goes towards good but Mandela ultimate message was everyone is in a position where they can  make a difference. I've seen this in my life all you need is the desire to do so, once you make the choice you can make a difference. It';s not something that is reserved for a fortunate few. So Mandela's legacy is that everyone is in a position to make a difference. Everyone is in a place where they can have an influence on the environment.  Another big thing is the spirit of Ubuntu, which is an African word that speaks to the spirit of caring about your fellow man. That's what we're bringing back. It's just that consciousness to be aware that there are always ways of changing your situation.  Getting involved in something, some way of creating a change that will change your environment. It is always in your hands, it's not just somebody's problem, or something that's left off to the elite.
Caribbean Posh would like to thank Lira for taking the time to speak with us. We would also like to thank the South African Consulate, and Source Communications for inviting Caribbean Posh to be a part of this very special event.
For more information on the  46664 line and to make purchases visit -
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