Today’s piece is about self-love.
By self I mean African.
The love of Africa. Not being in Africa but being African.
Isn’t it amazing how expressive the African woman has been lately? With her fashion, simply feeling so comfortable in her skin and in her surroundings enough to give the rest of the world inspiration just by looking at her? I think it’s phenomenal. We all do.
Five years back, the Burberry Prorsum’s Spring/Summer Collection was released at London’s Fashion week and the whole world was in awe. The designs were beautiful, top-notch creativity and to top it off African-inspired. Magazines were blowing up expressing the ‘exotic’ edge of this collection. How creative and inspiring and ‘fresh’ it was to the runway. Am I the only one who is wondering why this was being made into such a big , gigantic deal? No hate, no shade but most fail to realize that Africa has been wearing such fabrics for more than 30 years. When I was younger, I remember my ma and grandma, wearing their vitenges (as we call them in Kenya meaning African fabric from head to ankle, literally). Going to church on Sunday or going to see the neighbor’s beautiful newborn, every occasion had its own attire and if you did the math of occasions vs attire…*sigh*.Too many, too too many.
I am sure the same goes for every other African Gal out there. We have had the most boisterous and bold women in our lives as fashion inspirations. As a matter of fact,the term Sunday best is an African-coined term.Yes, it was. The fearless women before us chose to voice their expressions with how they dressed for church every Sunday and man did they step up to the plate! Being able to improvise with whatever they had and still make an outfit and good one at that! And you wonder where our talent came from?
Over the years, our love for fashion has never faded and now more than ever hundreds of African designers are inspiring the rest of the world by showcasing their creative minds in fashion.
Social media right now is raving with pictures and stories of an African woman proud to be herself; feeling free to reveal her true self and revel in her heritage without fear of judgment. From bolder than bold African-inspired fabric to the famous Bantu knots on our heads and choosing to flaunt that wild mane of hair that can break into half any comb.
Ladies, this is our time and I have never been prouder to be African!
Here’s to us! To growth and to authentic beauty!
Model at the top:Grace Neema IG Handle:@gracemuriuki
Written by: Christine Wothaya