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Africa inspiration: fashion & beauty our way

I am still giddy about my country’s independence, which we celebrated on October 1st. But that does not mean that I am averse to the harsh realities that exist in my country. Over the last decades, when you google Nigeria, the three prominent things that will pop up are corruption, poverty and AIDS. Within the last few years, terrorism has been added to this list.

But this truly is the picture of Nigeria; however skewed it could be portrayed sometimes. Here are some more realities: our government is much more corrupt than it ever was, we still do not have stable power, our roads are very poor and basically, development is at a snail speed if you are like the millions of Nigeria who do not judge our pace of development with the GDP!

I won’t bore you, don’t worry; I am painting this picture to make you understand why I am very proud of writing inspirational posts about Nigeria and Africa as a whole. I do not complain; I must keep dreaming, keep hoping and keep creating. Which is why I am giving kudos to the many talented and gifted Nigerians that are going against the odds and creating fashion and beauty products that I am very proud of.

So this month, I picked a few of my favourite things all made in Africa that inspires me each day to keep creating.

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To start with, I love this dress so much! And this is because Nigeria’s fashion industry is blossoming by the day! In the past, we Nigerians frequented roadside tailors who sewed customized designs for us – nothing fancy, nothing that unique, nothing fashion forward; but safe, traditional designs.

Then came the boom!

After years of hard work, spent creating uniquely designed clothes to international standard, Nigerian fashion designers finally got on the international stage.

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Super model Oluchi in Nigeria’s Tiffany Amber design in 2012. Image courtesy www.bellanaija.com

The fashion industry has and is constantly evolving; and with new up and coming designers mixing up the scene, we are moving away from customized tailoring to indigenous pret-a-porter clothes now easily bought in boutiques across the country. I am so loving this!

I like the fact that designers are perfectly mixing indigenous African fabrics with western fabrics and creating a fusion that moves from smart casual to corporate to intensely traditional.
And the jewelry….. Ghanaian jewelry craft in its finest! I love the jewelry because it is delicate, colourful, simple but yet, not understated. Every time that I have had to wear this, I have got a whoa!

Here is another I love:

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I am also seriously loving the lucrative world of bead and jewelry designers. Naturally, I have always loved bead jewelries so I have been collecting indigenous designs. This one is my new favourite because it is simple, which is so true to me and the same time, expressive. I like things this way.

And yes, I still love good old wooden carved hand-crafted jewelry because they are natural, very earthy, artistic and oh so cheap!

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I got this one more than a year ago and it has remained as pure as it was since the first day I bought it.

I am still collecting and I will keep blogging about them because these are some of the inspirational pieces coming out of Africa that makes me proud of my continent.

Cheers!

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