To bolster the African art and fashion industry in Africa and align it with global standards, the Friendzone Foundation, in collaboration with Youth & Skill Africa and the German Goethe Institute, held the Second Edition of the GBG Fashion and Art Show 2023 in Accra, featuring the Gold Thread Awards.
The show which was held on Saturday 21st October 2023, at the German Goethe Institute, in Cantonments, with the aim of promoting young fashion icons in Ghana, was themed “Empowering African Youth Through Artistic Fashion And Culture Celebration”.
The event involved a display of culture, where attendees showed up in African garments to represent various African countries. There were twenty African nations represented, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mali, Nigeria, Cameron, DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Egypt, South Africa, and of course Ghana, to list, but a few.
The South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Grace Mason, speaking at the event, as the Special Guest of Honour, commended the young artists in the fashion industry for their tremendous work to improve the positive impact of the fashion industry in Ghana and on the continent. She urged them to leverage on creative designs to promote Africa:
“We are all Africans. It is our Culture, Food, Music, Art, and Fashion that made us Africans. I’m honored to see young artists in the fashion industry come out and display our culture through these creative designs. I must say that it is essential we hold our culture in high esteem. I will entreat them to continue what they are doing and leverage designs to attract more tourists.”
Mr. Carl Ampah, the National Professional Officer for Culture at UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation), in his Solidarity Statement from UNESCO, said the event resonates profoundly with UNESCO’s commitment to nurturing the potential of the creative and cultural industries, especially the fashion sector, in Africa.
According to him, Ghana, with its vibrant creative industry, was an essential contributor to the fashion industry in Africa.
“Ghanaian textiles evoke powerful emotions and symbolize some of the most fundamental human ideals and cultural values. Their capacity to cut across communities and instill a sense of national pride is extraordinary. Indeed, traditional textiles represent a significant cultural symbol that brings Ghanaians together as one people.”
He therefore entreats the shareholders in the African Fashion Industry, and Artists to promote African designs that have deep cultural meanings and create a sense of identity:
“Fast Fashion according to Fashinnovation is responsible for both the recent and future growth of the Apparel Industry, and was predicted to reach 1,652.73 billion Dollars by 2020, and 713 billion dollars in 2022. However, the negative social and environmental impact needs mitigation, as the level of environmental damage from the fashion industry was about 1.2 billion”.
“Let’s use Examples such as Adinkra Symbols, as well as the Ga and Ewe ones. Similarly, this rings true across the continent among different communities,” he stated.
Mr. Carl Ampah seized the moment to announce the Official Launching of the UNESCO Report next week, to support, nurture, and celebrate the immense potential of our Creative Industries, Africa’s fashion, bright prints, and art. Ensuring that Africa is not just a follower, but a Leader in the Global Fashion Industry.
Nana Addo Kuma I, Ankobea of Ahwerase Akuapem, emphasized the importance of the fashion Show and Ghana’s commitment to heritage preservation.
According to him, we must protect our culture through dressing in the Western World:
“The way we dress as Ghanaians and Africans is beautiful, and we must continue. Every country or continent has its way of dressing and we must therefore not copy blindly. I will entreat the youth to dress in our African attire to represent the country wherever they find themselves.”
He congratulated the progress made by the Organizers to assist young fashion icons in Ghana and beyond, in formulating a Strategic Plan for safeguarding and promoting African heritage.
In attendance were notable individuals like Mrs. Kulu, CEO of the Exquisite Club Smooth, Ms. Seble, CEO of Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant, Multiple Award Winning Gospel Musician, Prophet Joseph Atarah, Rev. Cleopatra Mouiche, a seasoned Fashion Consultant and Fashion Coach, Gospel Artist, Anointed Michael, personalities from the Tourism Industry, and several Beauty Pageant Winners and Contestants, including the reigning Miss. Ghana, and Mr. Ghana, who joined The Face of GBG Fashion and Art Show, 2023, Mafon, born of a Ghanaian mum, and a Cameronian dad, and the other models on the runway. During the event, some young fashion icons in the industry were awarded.
South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Her Excellency Grace Mason, Movie Star, Prince David Osei, Lady Pat, the Event Management Consultant for this auspicious event, and others were also honored for their invaluable contributions to the Art and Fashion industry in Ghana and beyond.
The event was made possible with the support of sponsors Adonko Next Level Premium Energy Drink, Angel Soft Drinks, Atlantic Mall, Ghandour Cosmetics, Victor Otem, a Premium Brand from DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), Hollantex textiles, Jaylis Naturals, Bel – Aqua Mineral Water, Café Vita, Café Abol, Paradiso, Beewty App, Black Secret, Beauty360, and FYNNexhibits.
The Major Sponsor is the Former Nigerian Presidential Candidate, Aare Dr. Dele Momodu, popularly known as Chief Dele, the Group Chairman of Ovation Media Group, Publishers of Africa’s Premium Lifestyle Publication, Ovation International Magazine.