Sitting at the front row, setting my eye firm on the models parading different collections that were done by our upcoming and top notch designers, I get the impression that, I am endowed to be born in a country with such immense talent that can create anything from anything.
Hayo yalikuwa ni mawazo kutoka kwa mmoja wa Swahili Fashion Week diehards, Ariel, ambae yeye macho yetu yamemshuhudia akihudhuria siku zote tatu za maonyesho hayo makubwa ya mavazi Africa Mashariki.
Anaendelea kusema, “the fashion industry in Tanzania has definitely made strides and it is encouraging to see a fellow countrymen produce a fashion week that is sophisticated, imaginative, bold and yet still proudly African”.
Lakini cha kushangaza, wengi kati ya waliohudhuria onyesho la Swahili Fashion week could not live by the theme, ambayo ni namna they can look good with Swahili Fashion trends. Most of them walikuwa westernized, instead ya kuwa mfano wa how the Swahili dress code is adorn in their cool bodies.
Si kitu kibaya kuvaa kile unachopenda, but, it’s about time that, people realize the importance of our local designers and support their creativity. I know for sure, that many people would like to wear Swahili designs in weddings or at least office and during international conferences and not on a cocktail evening.
The sad part of it, ni pale, most of corporate, government and individuals who mostly needs our local designer services or a bit of their expertise in their touches, are the ones who shun away. For example Banks, Member of Parliament, Hotels, Airlines managers and executives where no were to be seen.
We only saw the same faces that we see during this kind of events over and over again. Come on, we need new faces to come out. I remember, I guess it was last year when Precision air procured their entire crew from Hong Kong and brought about discontentment from the local designer fraternity and defended their decision with pride.
That was a bit disappointing whatsoever, when will our designer be trusted fully as a whole fraternity or as individuals. It’s always very easy to say that the local designers do not meet the standards. Do you expect them to invest into an industry where people don’t bother to support their work?
One interesting fact came up towards the end of the 3 day event; it was about an opportunity which a seasoned and veteran Fashion designer, Mama Ailinda Sawe of Afrika Sana brand, got from the American Embassy Tanzania, through a Swahili Fashion Week support program code named (USAID compete ), which is placed under Agoa project.
She will be part of the African Union Summit in May next year to showcase her collection, before all the African heads of states, together with American Government entourage that will be assembling at the Ethiopia capital Addis Ababa for their annual series of meetings.
Hii inatufunza tujitahidi kupenda vya kwetu na sio tusubiri watu walio mbali na sisi watuthamini alafu ndio na sisi tujivunie japo kwa aibu na kusema tunasapoti kitu ambacho ni dhahiri tupo nacho mbali kivitendo.
So many people were honored with awards and trophies for either being part as supporters, sponsors or winner of the 15 category contests.
All in all, like all the previous Swahili Fashion Week this year’s edition was a success, we would like to see more people come out and support our industry so that it can grow beyond East and Central Africa.