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Africa's best talent dresses for peace

This coming Saturday, May 24, Nairobi will play host to a fashion and the arts show that is aimed at harnessing African creativity and promoting Kenya as a dynamic cultural hub.

The fashion show and gala dinner will bring together some of Africa's world-famous fashion designers and models on the catwalk. The event will be held at the Nairobi National Park and is a collaboration of FAFA (Festival of African Fashion and Arts) and the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB).

The event's objective is to draw attention to the immense creativity and sophistication that exist in Kenya and on the African continent while building on hope and promoting peace. “The arts scene in Kenya is really beginning to grow and I think that Nairobi has the potential to become a truly dynamic cultural hub not only within the region, but the continent. The arts are vital in the development of a country; they play a fundamental role not only in attracting visitors, but in changing people's perception of a country. I'm very excited to have some of the most respected and talented people in the African fashion industry coming to Nairobi to be part of this event” says Ann McCreath, creator of Kenyan fashion label KikoRomeo and founder of FAFA.

Various top African designers from around the continent will join Kenyan designers in displaying their creative talent they include: Paris based designers Alphadi of Niger, Imane Ayissi of Cameroun and Paul Herve Elizabeth of Martinique, as well as Pathe'O of Ivory Coast, Tribe of Ghana, and Modela Couture of Nigeria. Participating Kenyan designers include Moo Cow, KooRoo, Sally Karago, John Kaveke and KikoRomeo.

The show will be hosted by former top model Kenyan-born Waridi Schrobsdorff. “Africa should not be a forgotten continent. We have the material, we have the quality, we have the human resources and potential to make meaningful changes. This event is just the beginning, it is saying - yes we want to go forward, and I believe in using creativity to speak out, to send a message and to initiate change and transformation,” says Waridi.

The Peace One Day initiative began five years ago and brought together the likes of Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, and the Dalai Lama to achieve a World Peace Day on September 21, which is a day of global ceasefire.

The fashion show is supported by other peripheral activities such as a designer exhibition that will be open to the public on May 24 and 24 at the Holiday Inn.

FAFA is a newly created association comprising a multi-disciplined coordination team dedicated to the promotion of peace through art, fashion and music, and was created in response to the post-election violence in Kenya and seeks to promote African fashion and the arts through different events and festivals that it aims to hold yearly.

About Carole Kimutai

Carole Kimutai is a writer and editor based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently an MA student in New Media at the University of Leicester, UK. Follow her on Twitter at @CaroleKimutai.

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