How ‘Made in Rwanda’ is Breathing LIfe into Kigali’s Fashion Scene
Through a mix of government support and Internet exposure, Rwanda’s fashion industry – and economy as a whole – is gaining momentum and putting Kigali on the world’s fashion map. At first glance, Matthew Rugamba’s big break was the result of pure serendipity. Since 2011, he has built a loyal following for his House of Tayo brand, fusing African heritage with contemporary designs to create brightly colored, mixed-print items like bow ties and infinity scarves. But he had struggled to break out from the local fashion scene. That changed in 2018, with the premiere of one of the most anticipated movies of the year: Black Panther, when Lupita Nyong’o’s brother wore his suit. But it wasn’t just luck, hustle, and connections that propelled Rugamba to the Hollywood red carpet. Rwanda, a small nation of 12 million people, has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with aspirations of becoming a middle-income nation by 2035. And Rugamba is the beneficiary of one of a series of homegrown initiatives aimed at sustaining high and inclusive growth in different industries—including the country’s nascent fashion scene. One of those initiatives is “Made in Rwanda,” launched in 2015, which aims to recapture parts of the Rwandan market from imports while improving the competitiveness of Rwandan exports globally.
SOURCES: QUARTZ AFRICA
2Julie Adenuga: ‘There Are Young Artists in Nigeria Who Are Changing the World’
Through an in-depth interview with radio personality, Julie Adenuga, we learn about evolutions in the African music scene and how certain super-talented Nigerians are reshaping the space. As an affable tastemaker who transforms banal interviews into engaging conversations with some of the most famous artists in the world, Julie is leading the global dialogue on new music from her daily radio show, which broadcasts to over 100 countries. The North London native of Nigerian descent hails from a musical family, her brothers are artists Skepta and JME, and has risen from the underground as a self-taught presenter on former pirate radio station Rinse FM to being one of three lead DJ’s with her Beats 1 show on Apple Music. A champion of homegrown talent in the UK and across the African diaspora, Julie is a purveyor of the afro-fusion genre, as is evident in her recent Homecoming documentary, which captured the fresh innovators from the Lagos music scene, and her DON’t @ ME club nights, which has featured Ghetts, Lady Leshurr and The Compozers as residents.
3Ghana’s Floating Village is Trying to Balance Its Ancient Traditions in a Modern World
Far from the capital of Accra, the floating village of Nzulezo evokes comparisons to Venice, but maintains a unique culture that is trying to adapt to ongoing modernization. Built over the Lake Tandane, Nzulezo derives its name from a local language, Nzema, meaning “surface of water.” The village, 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Accra, Ghana’s capital city for many centuries has coexisted with nature and is a perfect symbiosis of people and Earth. Beyond Ghana’s borders, the village on water is famous for its local gin known as Akpeteshi, which attracts visitors from around the world keen to taste the gin made from raffia palm. Continue reading…