African Print Appreciation Post

First of all, Happy Africa Day everybody! This is a special day that has become very near and dear to my heart as I have learned more about the meaning behind it, over time. Today is the day that many countries on the African continent celebrate their independence from the strife of colonialism. May 25th, 1963 marked the first union of thirty African countries on African soil, under the Organisation of the African Union (OAU) – now known simply as the African Union (AU).

This initial meeting was formed with the intention of advocating for the decolonisation of Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, and Southern Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), as over two thirds of the continent had already achieved independence, but these countries had not. So on this day, over 50 years later, we continue to celebrate the successful efforts of our African brothers and sisters in their resolution to obtain sovereignty and unity amongst the continent’s people.

Therefore, this post is dedicated to appreciating just a few of the ravishing, beautiful prints housed by the continent, and the sheer diversity which African print clothing styles represent. All items in this post were made by talented Zimbabwean tailors.

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Tanaka’s dress is elaborately detailed and has the added aesthetic of a collar and long sleeved arms which are cuffed at the wrist. This dress is ideal for a winter month and or evening event, and looks gorgeous when paired with strappy, open-toed heels.

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Chiedza sports a Dashiki, which, although roughly similar to Tanaka’s dress by nature of the patterns and colours, stands out as unique with its sleeveless, collarless design and the deep slits on both sides; a look just right for the summer. It also conveys lower tones of color compared to the bright red centre of the dress above, making it easier to match and acesorise. This looks great when paired with jeans or denim shorts.

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I wore a two-piece outfit with a combination of multiple colours which seem to compliment each other very well. My favourite part about the top piece is the heart-shaped opening just above the chest: this is an edgy touch that adds to the beauty of the outfit’s design. I accesorised with an equally colorful, beaded headpiece; these are a popular accessory in many parts of Africa.

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Here, Tanaka showcases an off-the-shoulder top with three-quarter sleeves and a tight-fitted waist which flows out effortlessly at the bottom. Paired with simple black jeans, the cream and burgundy highlights of the shirt stand out brilliantly. On her head she wears a detailed headpiece with smaller beads in it for greater detail.

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I switched this look up by pairing the top piece with some deep-maroon semi-formal pants, and accessorised this time with a bright yellow headscarf, achieving a more bohemian look. The headpiece I previously wore doubles as a neck piece, which is why this is a must-have!

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So, in the spirit of Africa Day, If you haven’t already, please go read my post on emancipation from mental slavery. Celebrate with me our physical freedom and challenge yourself simultaneously to pursue and engage in the process of mental freedom. Peace and love.

Xo

(Photos courtesy of Emily Joyce)

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