Style

Prêt-À-Poundo: Chichia London's Khanga Inspired Collection [Gallery]

It is about Tanzanian designer Christine Mhando with her label Chichia London with her new Autumn/Winter 13 collection.


The fashion industry advocates the public "pick the right piece" and "be beautiful." We're in the era were fashion trends work for you more than ever and styles have become increasingly elaborate — as is this very fashionable new collection from Chichia London. We're all craving for creative attires and we were greatly impressed by Tanzanian Christine Mhando's visionary spirit and creativity on her "Project Gauni" collection. It's fascinating to witness this blend of traditional and alternative cultures, lending to a unique aesthetic that reflects Mhando's heritage. Pushing the boundaries of design, Mhando's daring blend of colors, garments choices and intricate pieces have the light touch of a bold woman. We spoke with Christine Mhando below.

Chichia London AW 13 Project Gauni Prêt-À-Poundo 2Chichia London AW 13 Project Gauni Prêt-À-Poundo 7

What was your inspiration for this new collection?

I was inspired by the art of communication. I looked at the East African Khanga and how the local women use this piece of fabric to send messages to one another by choosing the khanga with the most appropriate saying for whatever situation. When shopping for khangas in the markets, the vendor would usually sell them by pointing out the ones with (what they think) have the best sayings (In Swahili, they're called 'Misemo'), rather than by the beauty of the print. I thought it would be fun to explore this side of the khanga.

Chichia London AW 13 Project Gauni Prêt-À-Poundo 11Chichia London AW 13 Project Gauuni Prêt-À-Poundo 16

What materials did you use?

Printed cotton khanga and printed cotton kitenge for the majority of the collection. Also jerseys, silks and viscose.

What is your masterpiece of this new collection?

The one look that most people seem to be going pretty crazy over is the 'NGOZI' bodycon dress (with the Swahili sayings print featured on the front panel) worn with the 'POPO' printed tailored cape. Ngozi means 'skin' and Popo means 'Bat' in Swahili.

Chichia London A:W 13 Project Gauni Prêt-À-Poundo 9 Chichia London A:W 13 Project Gauni Prêt-À-Poundo 10

How are you feeling now that your collection has been released?

Great! We launched the collection here in London at the International Fashion Showcase during London Fashion Week. Chichia and two other London based Tanzanian brands were selected to represent the country during this event. We held a two week exhibition at the Tanzanian High Commission which turned out to be a highly appropriate venue. The AW13 collection has had a wonderful reaction from the Industry as well as the Tanzanian community.

What do you think are the current trends for A/W 13?

I've spotted a lot of shiny things... Metallics, leathers, pleathers, Perspex... all bright and shiny!

Chichia London A:W 13 Project Gauni Prêt-À-Poundo 18 Chichia London AW 13 Project Gauuni Prêt-À-Poundo 17

What tips do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

I would say get some experience to learn the business and craft. Also take time to figure out who you are as a designer. There's a difference between drawing inspiration from something and downright copying..

Describe your A/W 13 collection in one word

Charming

Okayafrica is

Freshness!

Popular
Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

Nigerian singer and producer CKay talks to OkayAfrica about the rise of his international chart-topping single "Love Nwantiti," his genre-defying sound and the reasons behind this era of afrobeats dominance.