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Khaya Mchunu

Senior Lecturer
Name: Mchunu Khaya
Location: Office G044 FADA Building Bunting Road Campus
FADA Fashion Design Staff  Staff Members

Contact Details:
Tel: 011 559 1066


About Dr Mchunu Khaya

Qualification National Diploma in Fashion (UJ) Bachelor’s Degree in Technology: Fashion (UJ) Master’s Degree in Technology: Fine Arts (cum laude, UJ) Supervisors:

  • Kim Berman
  • Lara Allen
  • Desiree Smal

PhD in Visual and Performing Arts (DUT) Supervisors:

  • Rolf Gaede
  • Hester du Plessis

Research interests

  • South African fashion studies and history
  • South African dress and fashion archives for alternative fashion imaginaries and narratives
  • Community sewing circles
  • Transdisciplinarity and creative practices


Khaya Mchunu. 2023. The activism of Simon Nkoli’s clothed and styled body. Gender Questions 11(1): 1-23. Available:

Khaya Mchunu and Busisiwe Memela. 2023. Existence is resistance: A reflection on Dr. Beverly Ditsie’s 90s quare fashion. Biography: An interdisciplinary quarterly 45(3): 249-270. Available:

Khaya Mchunu. 2022.Matri-archive, creativity, and beadwork: Toward an inclusive design process. Available:

Khaya Mchunu. 2022. The boubou and post-colonial African musical performances: Ami Koïta, Bi Kidude and Sibongile Khumalo. Fashion Theory.

Tinashe Mutero, Khaya Mchunu and Ivan Govender. 2021. Sewing friendship: Increasing inclusivity through creating shared social spaces for migrant and local populations in Durban. Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning 9(1): 1-18. Available:

Khaya Mchunu. 2020. Self-representation in the works of Busisiwe Nzama: An analysis of the Frida ‘little travellers’ and more. Image and Text Special Issue 34: 1-30. Available:

Khaya Mchunu and Busisiwe Memela. 2019. Fashioning Resistance: The Unsung Fashions of Miriam ‘Mama Africa’ Makeba. Alternation Special Edition Volume 26. Available:

Khaya Mchunu. 2019. Appraising understandings of a social justice-infused pedagogy: Adinkra symbols as probes. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South 3(2). Available:

Khaya Mchunu. 2019. Sewing 4 Africa – skills training, solidarity and African sisterhood. Agenda – Empowering women for gender equity 33(1). Available:

Khaya Mchunu and Sunthra Moodley. 2019. Students’ reflection on co-design: A cross-disciplinary collaboration between two SADC countries. South African Journal of Higher Education 33(2). Available:

Khaya Mchunu and Kim Berman. 2018. Arts-based methods as tools for co-design in a South African community-based design co-operative. Cubic Journal 1(1). Available:

Khaya Mchunu. 2017. Preparing fashion students for a socially engaged university project through Zulu Proverbs. Conference proceedings for DEFSA conference 2017 Theme of conference: Decolonise Available:

Khaya Mchunu. 2014. The use of co-operative inquiry to enhance collaboration and participatory design in a South African rural sewing co-operative. Conference proceedings for the Cumulus Johannesburg Conference Theme of conference: Designing with the other 90%: Changing the world by Design Available:

Papers presented at conferences, symposia, and colloquium

Khaya Mchunu. 2014. The Use of Co-Operative Inquiry to Enhance Collaboration and Participatory Design in a South African Rural Sewing Co-Operative. In: Design with the other 90%: Cumulus Johannesburg Conference Proceedings, 22-24 September 2014. Johannesburg, University of Johannesburg, 102-107.

Khaya Mchunu. 2016. Ukuzala ukuzelula: Learning from a traditional Zulu proverb to encourage the application of fashion design academic projects in contemporary society. 31st Annual SAVAH Conference: Rethinking Art History and Visual Culture in a contemporary context, 28-30 July 2016, University of Johannesburg.

Michaela Cavanagh and Khaya Mchunu. 2016. A constructive alignment approach in fashion curricula to maximise students’ first year experience: A proposal for first year pedagogy paper presented at the 5th Teaching, Learning and Assessment Symposium, Durban University of Technology 9-11 November 2016.

Khaya Mchunu. 2017. Preparing fashion students for a socially engaged university project through Zulu Proverbs. Conference proceedings for DEFSA conference 2017.

Khaya Mchunu. 2018. Breaking down the walls. Community Engagement Monitoring and Evaluation Symposium, 19 October.

Khaya Mchunu and Nozipho Tembe. 2018. Co-creating a training project in basic sewing skills. Community Engagement and Social Innovation Symposium, Rhodes University.

Khaya Mchunu. 2019. Needles and contemporary beadwork: Celebrating the male beaders of Woza Moya. 2019 NIHSS National Doctoral Conference, 28-31 October 2019.

Mchunu, K. 2019d. Needles and contemporary beadwork: Celebrating the male beaders of Woza Moya. In: Pilane, B., Madalane, I., Muhongya, K., Scheepers, K., Mlindazwe, K., Phakoe, K., Maphalakasi, M., Motsemme, N., Mosoetsa, S., Dumakude, S., Molaoa, T., Sechele, T. and Mofokeng, T. Annual National Doctoral Conference. Johannesburg, 28-31 October 2019. Johannesburg. National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, 25.

Khaya Mchunu. 2019. Paralleling Kahlo, Superwoman and a Woza Moya beadworker. Material Narratives: Representations of public and private histories in cloth. Hosted by South African Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, University of Johannesburg, 33 Twickenham Avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, 18-20 November.