Nearly four years ago, Afroklectic was in it’s early days I was in London on exchange where I had the privilege of meeting Creative Director Ola Shobowale. I remember emailing him about helping out on any of his upcoming projects. I was and still am so inspired by him. His level of engagement in the creative scene is on a different level. He just knows how to make things happen. He invited me to help out backstage for the catwalk event Fashion4Africa which he was curating. That night, I was a like a baby in a candy store who didn’t know which candy to pick. Being in that space was so surreal to me because I don’t think I had ever seen that many African nationalities in such a small group of people. It was like being in the middle of all the African candidates for Miss Universe. I was also seeing clothing which I had written about and admired. I gasped when I saw one Ituen Basi‘s fringe dress! That’s how surreal the whole experience of being backstage at that show was for me.
Fast track four years later and Ola Shobowale brings me on board on his latest project Africa on the Catwalk at Africa Utopia 2014 hosted by the Southbank Centre. Let me tell you, Africa on the Catwalk was LIVE. Africa Utopia was just LIVE in general. Good vibes all around. So much happening. So much to do.
The catwalk show featured Bestow Elan (Ghana/UK), SOBOYE (Nigeria/UK), Sindiso Khumalo (South Africa/UK), AAKS (Ghana), Haus of Hercules (Nigeria/UK), Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco /UK) and Mifani Shoes (Ghana/UK). My role at Africa on the Catwalk was to cover the backstage visuals. I am honestly surprised that I ended up with photos on my camera. I can’t even describe the intensity of ‘The backstage’. I am getting this top from here, buckling this model’s shoe, finding this person for that person and being asked where the safety pins are. I don’t even remember seeing safety pins in the first place! The show went on seamlessly! Such a contrast to what was happening at the back! It is amazing how much preparation goes into something which probably only lasts for 40 minutes. Howver, you can’t deny that it’s such a beautiful process and I felt privileged to be entwined in.
I have a few bits and pieces from casting to the lead up of Africa on the Catwalk which I will upload over the next few days on the site and our Facebook. In the meantime, you can check out our instagram as well. There are art pieces and mini clips from the fashion show.