There are many things which paint a view about a person or a people, like their beliefs, their values, their sense of humour or the lack of it, and their accent, among others. One thing which tells a lot about people is the fashion industry of their clime and its characterizing features.
The African fashion industry has gone global and is usually used to make a statement. One cannot talk about the African fashion world without talking about its unique textiles. Africans have many fashion textiles like the Akwete cloth which is woven by Igbo people; the Ukara, a dyed indigo cloth also by Igbo people; another tie-dye cloth, Adire – produced by Yoruba people; Shweshwe produced in South Africa; Barkcloth – produced by the Buganda tribe; Kanga – produced in Tanzania; Mudcloth- produced by the Bambara tribe; Kitenge – produced in Tanzania and other regions of East Africa; Kente cloth – woven by Ashanti and Ewe people; Chitenge – produced in Zambia; Aso oke fabric – woven by Yoruba people; Ankara or African Wax Prints – Produced in West Africa.
All the above-listed textiles tell their own story, but one which is told by all of them is the welcoming, colourful, and great attributes of Africans. Through the points below, you will discover how the fashion industry in Africa sheds a little light about Africans via the textiles of the continent.
Africans are Welcoming
Although wars, genocides and other religion-based killings paint otherwise, Africans are welcoming. The Ankara and Aso Oke Material, for example, fits every African no matter the tribe or country. Not only do the textiles fit Africans, but it also fits other humans too. It comes in unique shades and hues which fits each individual no matter the skin complexion.
Africans are Colourful
Africans are generally called blacks, but we are a colourful people and our textiles buttress that point. African textiles are of different colourful designs which add glamour to every place they are worn and so they cannot be ignored. This colourful nature of our textiles leads me to my next point.
Africans are Bold
Colours are not for the timid. It takes a bold and confident personality to be comfortable with so much colour as the African textiles offer. We are bold people and that is why we are not afraid to wear colourful statements. Our boldness, which is a basic attribute in us, also leads to my last point.
Africans are Resilient and Flexible
Adding to our boldness, there is nowhere which an African cannot thrive, I mean we survived slavery! Our textiles can be used for all designs and innovations. African textiles have been and are being used in innumerable designs and in all, they retain their unique blend of everything African.
So when next you wear that African textile, hold your head high and remember that it reveals a bit of who you are at your core.
You are African; you are welcoming, colourful, bold, resilient and flexible.
This article was written by Joy Nwankwo; connect with her on IG here