So my friend Hameeda mentioned me on a post on Twitter. I read through the tweets and arguments that followed and I kept shaking my head. The bone of contention is, Africans are hurt a designer used African print and created a style most of us would have seen our mummies wear when they want to sleep at night, when they need to do a few things in the kitchen or when they are just chilling, without giving credit to African women who surely inspired it.
I totally understand the anger and you know what? I am joining them in their vexation, so what if it was the Dutch who made the wax, so what if it was brought to us by the Europeans, so what if she’s portraying Africa to the world, so what if it is on Paris Fashion week runway, so what! This act is not uncommon to Europeans/Americans, all those oyinbos who think they can just snatch anything from Africa and twist it around to look like it was from them. Y’all remember the puff puff they desecrated and called ‘loukoumoud or shoukomoud’, they did the same thing with Adire fabric and aso oke too!
These oyinbo people are fond of this stuff, then they package it very well and sell it the gullible African people at outrageous price, something Iya Lukman that has a shop at the back of my house can sew for 500 naira, somebody will now see it getting sold for 5000 dollars or more! What is going on? Why are these people hell bent on making us look like everything good, creative and awesome can never come from us? This has made me reflect and wonder what other awesome things we have done that they claimed it was from them?
But do I blame them? I don’t at all I only blame our leaders who are hell bent on ruining African talents, creativity and human resources by siphoning money meant to build those sectors. May we get wise soon enough to develop what is ours before ‘outsiders’ snatch everything we call our own!