Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle
Fashion4Africa – Mobilising creative enterprise in Africa
Anna, as we have come to appreciate, is more than ‘highly accomplished’ in Event Management, but that is not all. Anna has a few other areas of expertise to her name: tourism, hospitality and education.
Although British born, Anna has a passion for Africa. She has been visiting her parents’ country of origin, The Gambia, since she was 7 years old. Later, as she likes to emphasise, she made a conscious decision to learn the colloquial language ‘Wolof’ so that it would enable her to integrate better and enjoy the shared feeling of unity portrayed in communal dialogue where terms such as ‘we’ and ‘us’ refer to anyone considered to belong to the community as opposed to the terms ‘they’ and ‘them’ used to identify people who are not from the community.
As maturity seeped in and her fluency in Wolof strengthened, her aspirations for The Gambia changed and her agenda started leaning more towards supporting the country and its needs – this lead to her work as a volunteer for The Gambian Tourism Authority based in London. She worked as assistance to the Director of Tourism for The Gambia. Her passion for the development of Africa heightened from this experience and this is evident in all the unpaid work she has done as well as she puts it ‘The deterioration of her savings’ to fulfil her aspirations, long-term goals and compelled duty to participate in events, programmes or issues relating to the development of Africa.
She has shown the real essence of a humanitarian and has fundraised for many great causes such as Under-17 football team in The Gambia to take their trip to Peru for the FIFA championships, and Breast Cancer Care and Girls Education for FAWEGAM. She has also volunteered and worked in many great events such as the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Conference Co-ordinator of 2006 African Union Summit in the Gambia, 2008 The International Roots Festival in The Gambia (Flying over 14 film, TV and magazine journalists to The Gambia), 2008 Screen Nation Film and TV Awards London, created the 2008 Miss West Africa Sub-region Beauty Contest London concept, initiated and orchestrated the successful AFFORD UK 2010 enterprise week. All events were pioneered to support and motivate the greatness and progress of Africans, Afro-Caribbeans and other decedents of Africa in Africa and the Diaspora. Inspired by her successful co-ordination of the AU summit and current work in African Development, she finally founded the Fashion4Africa showcase.
The Fashion4Africa showcase is a fundraising initiative inspired by a cultural study into African tourism, which helped to identify the amazing potential within the modern African textiles industries, African fashion, culture music and arts from all 53 states of the continent. The study of the tourism of African fashion also highlighted the potential for enterprise and development within this industry which inspired the prize for the winner of the showcase to be sent to a fashion house to learn the business of Fashion and an established designer sponsorship to an African destination.
The current Face of Fashion4Africa is Samira Harshi and the winners of Fashion4Africa designers award 2010 were Grace Uchenna(Nigeria) Asake Agoro(Nigeria) and Maureen Amooti( Uganda).