Isithembiso actress Nandi Mbatha and local designer Quiteria Kekana have apparently broken up.
Sunday World has learnt that the separation between the two BFFS comes after a return from the Paris Fashion Week in France two weeks ago.
It is alleged that the actress and designer friends came back to South Africa with their relationship having taken a turn for the worse.
According to a source, who was not allowed to speak to the media, Mbatha was invited to Paris by Kekana to close his solo show and later had a cover shoot for a premium South African magazine.
Things allegedly went pear-shaped when Kekana refused to release photoshoot images of the actress, which Mbatha wanted to use as part of her portfolio.
According to our mole, Mbatha was furious with the designer’s decision and believed he was out to “sabotage” her career.
“I had never seen Nandi so disappointed. She really just believes that Quiteria did not want to help her advance her brand and that she felt that it was sabotage,” said the source.
Last year, Mbatha was announced as brand ambassador for Quiteria Atelier, Kekana’s current clothing brand.
Another source confirmed the tiff, adding that Kekana made it clear that he was going to cut ties with the budding actress in a meeting last week.
“He literally said he didn’t want anything to do with her and that she was ungrateful. He flatly refused to release the images because he thinks she did not deserve the clout,” said the mole.
Kekana is notorious for public break-ups, the last being with his former fashion label Quiteria & George, popular for designing American singer Beyonce’s Global Citizen emerald green dress, alongside Enhle Mbali.
Both Kekana and Mbatha confirmed the break-up.
“Well, the separation has happened between the brand and Nandi since returning from our solo show in Paris Fashion Week, which was received very well by the French audience, and this is something we would like to further engage in-house,” Kekana explained.
“The breakdown did happen, hence the separation, which is something that happens with any other brand when they work together and it is unfortunate that this has gone to a stage that it has reached the media before we could resolve it in-house.”
Mbatha opted to speak to Sunday World through her publicist Yaya Mavundla.
Mavundla said Mbatha fell ill in Paris and was not available for every shoot Kekana needed her to do in Paris.
“I doubt his actions were to sabotage Nandi’s brand that she has worked so hard to build since they met last year, though it might have come across like that,” said Mavundla.