By Mary Ekah
The First African Fashion and Art Festival (AFAF), described by organisers as, “the greatest African cultural show on earth in the 21st Century, will be held in Lagos soon. AFAF ’16, described, as “an extraordinary demonstration of the richness, diversity, and vitality of black art- both contemporary and traditional- throughout the world” will have the most talented art and fashion designers in Nigeria and other African countries participating in the festival.
The history of AFAF can be traced back to the 1940s when the President of Senegal, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aime Casaire and some others, developed some ideas on Pan-Africanism and Negritude. The idea behind it was to celebrate the beauty of Africa and to romanticise the values of her culture.
This maiden edition of Africa Fashion and Art Festival in this millennium is established to achieve a great deal by celebrating fashion and art of Africa all over the world. This will be done through the promotion of culture and style in a great deal of novel trends in fashion and art of new age of generation.
In promoting African fashion and art designers all over the world, the event will serve as a model for the possible upcoming ones on the continent and beyond. This will reverberate the uniqueness of Africa as once preached in Senghorean Negritude. The crux of the African tenet is built on value of the Black art and that it should be valued respected and patronised like the most international designers. Being preoccupied with these, the organisers intend to sponsor the production of some locally made arts. This will enable the production in mass for a larger distribution across the continent, for the world at large to have a feel of our fashion and style in their wardrobes.
This festival is brimming with African culture, from fashion and music, to films and art festivals, such as the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Festival and the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, FESTAC ’77, which teach people about the struggles and triumphs of African Americans.
The exhibition and the encouragement of the mass production of the locally made art will generate mass employment and our youths will discover the great talent within their culture and style. African leaders such as Nelson Mandela fought for peace, unity, value and freedom for the black nations in South Africa. His courage and aspiration has changed the perception of the white man. Black continent has now been valued much with.
“His Excellency President Barrack Obama has made us understand how far we can achieve our goals, if we set our hearts straight to make our great continent a place to be reckoned with and believe in the future if we stand in unity. This Festival will not only celebrate the progress that has been made, but also serve as a reminder of progress that still needs to be made.”
Following a series of development projects, the organisers of the AFAF and its sponsors both locally and internationally assigned Glamour West Africa to take charge of the preparation of the planning of the programme scheduled to come up in Lagos cosmopolitan city, especially for the provision of accommodation for the visitors during the events.
Glamour West Africa, organisers said would be in charge both of supervising the construction of the infrastructure installations and of coordinating the development operations and activities of the numerous agencies involved.
The Fashion festival and Art is prepared to showcase and celebrate the cultures and traditions of Africa and also to present African culture in fashion, artworks and music to the universe. Organisers therefore have urged companies, corporate bodies, brands, businesses, advertising agencies, media houses and government to support the ongoing project.
Culled from www.thisdaylive.com