The Department of Arts & Culture, as part of its Africa Month Festival, is hosting the We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza on 27 May 2015. The Department of Arts & Culture has appointed African Fashion International (AFI), the leading fashion promotions company in Africa, to coordinate the Fashion Extravaganza.

Held at the Museum of African Design, in the fashionable and culturally diverse Maboneng area in Johannesburg, the event will feature fashion designers from across the continent. The evening will celebrate the style, design and heritage of the African continent.

Showcasing designers include Taibo Bacar (Mozambique), Arapapa at Santa Anza (Uguanda), Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa), Alphadi (Niger), Sophie Zinga (Senegal), Tina Lobondi (DRC), Kiko Romeo (Kenya) and MaXhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo (South Africa). Garments, rooted in African heritage and re-imagined in a global context, will be showcased on a runway, worn by models from South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the DRC.

Fashion and clothing is a central aspect of cultural identity. In further celebrating this, guests will be given the unique opportunity to view a fashion exhibition of garments created by The Carnival Company – in conjunction with the Department of Arts and Culture – as part of We Are Africa Month celebrations. These garments are inspired by the diverse African heritage, particularly African masquerade and carnival attire.

Master of Ceremonies Gaetano Kagwa, a Ugandan media personality who rose to fame after starring in the maiden Big Brother Africa, will hold the evening’s event together. Alongside the fashion showcase, Xhosa-songstress Simphiwe Dana and spoken-word poet Naima McClean (known as the First Lady of Urban Soul, will perform) bringing together the evening’s celebration of African culture. A surprise international act will also perform on the evening.

Adding to the cultural experience of the night, Sanza Sandile (a Swaziland-born chef known as the ‘king of Yeoville’) will serve a “journey through African cuisine”, his take on Afro-fusion cooking with a modern twist.

The We Are Africa Fashion Extravaganza is part of the exciting programme for Africa Month that will take place throughout the month of May. Africa Month is a festival of ideas and cultural exchange, organized by the Department of Arts & Culture.

It will provide a platform and network for conversations about the African continent. These will go beyond the challenges to successes experienced and a recommitment to work for the continued development and integration of the continent.

The theme for this inaugural Africa Month, launched by the Minister of Arts & Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa at Freedom Park (Pretoria) on 1 April 2015, is We Are Africa – ‘Opening the doors of learning and culture to promote peace and friendship from Cape to Cairo’.

People are encouraged to use #WeAreAfrica to post photos and other messages on social media to share their activities with others.

A full programme for the Africa Month festival is available on www.dac.gov.za.

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