African Wear is an attire, cloth, a dress or any regalia worn to showcase an African culture and traditions. It can be a costume, sandals, bracelets, necklace, bangles, head gear etc, African wear comes in different texture, shapes, sizes and types. Some of the African wear are made from wood, plastic, rubber, plants, seeds, leaves, cotton, metal, gold, brass, bronze and silver, it is usually made and manufactured in Africa and by Africans. A lot of African wear is showcased on world fashion platforms and other cultural shows across the globe, as I said earlier, African wear is not only an attire but anything that is manufactured to portray African culture and traditions.
African Wear is very popular among the old and the young in Ghana, it showcase the style of costumes African’s wear during day to day activities, Ghana’s fashion industry is growing quickly and it is good to see how African wear usage has been patronized and progressed nowadays. Comparing African Wear or African fashion twenty years ago shows that people are now accepting the local wear more. Gone are the days when you see the young and adult wearing western costume to ceremonies such as wedding, engagement, funeral, outdooring and naming ceremonies, church services and even during occasions like Christmas, Eid Fitr and Eid Adha, Easter, traditional festivals etc.
Wearing of western or European costume to occasions wasn’t like that with our ancestors, because our style of dressing wasn’t culturally and politically invaded by the Europeans and foreigners. Ghanaians or Africans at that time typically dress as an African and it was strictly African wear in those days. There wasn’t many television and opera shows to influence African style of dressing or the fashion industry. Our ancestors use African wear during occasions and at home, they wear something to cover the body or the sensitive parts, it wasn’t too stylish as today. Mostly, common people don’t necessarily wear clothes to cover all parts of their body, the private or sensitive parts is just enough, but prominent or people with higher status in the society wore clothes to cover all parts of the body. Moreover, the style of dressing was culturally and traditionally African wear but decent and simple. There wasn’t any platform to buy European wear and there wasn’t any way to import some kind of Western or European materials quickly such as how it is nowadays. The costume one would put on was strictly African wear because our ancestors n those days made what they wear, everything they wore from head to toe was African wear or something cultural and traditional.
Ghana is well known for it’s style of clothing especially Kente clothes, our ancestors wore home-made clothes and hand woven clothes. Fashion designers weren’t plenty and also materials used to sew wasn’t in abundance like today, so they only sew with their hands with thread and needle. From Generation to generation, African wear has trended in our societies, it has been accepted as our tradition and culture. An African is always identified and characterized by the manner in which he or she dresses, and the way an African or a Ghanaian dresses should showcase his or her culture because culture identifies a person, that is why it is good to patronize African wears or products as a patriotic citizen, because culture is the way of life.
AFRICAN WEAR AND MODERNITY
African wear makes life easy and simple for the people of Ghana and Africa. People dont worry too much when attending functions like party, church, funeral etc. They dont worry too much about how and when they will get an attire for an occasion like they use to do some years ago, because there are bountiful of excellent and talented fashion designers coming out with innovative ideas for African wears. African people around the globe has also come to realize and accept their culture and traditions by patronizing the usage of African wear. One could also see people of African decent or those in the diaspora wearing African wear during day to day activities.
It is rare nowadays to see Ghanaian’s especially the youth wearing baggy jeans, Ecko unlimited, Dada Darmani, FUBU and all those western costumes. However, it is good to see Ghanaian’s patronizing or wearing African wear nowadays, again, it feels unique when you see people adorning themselves with African wear to church, mosque and other various religious festivals. Ghanaian’s now put on African wear to work, school, church and various ceremonies and places, this notion does not only make Ghanaians fashion freak but it help boost and enhance the economy, it also highlight and showcase culture and norms, again, it sells our local fashion designers, seamstress, tailors and other local manufactures to the world.
On the contrary, patronizing our locally manufactured wear commonly known as African wear could also create employment and reduce the rate of unemployment and better the economy and lives of people in Ghana and Africa as a whole. Some countries has created state owned sewing or fashion industry that groom and train the up-coming talented and innovative fashion designers to supply the ever growing fashion industry, they create jobs for the youth through such industries. In Ghana Today, African wear has been accepted by the masses and people wear it to any occasion. Our celebrities and National Icons wear them massively on local and on international platforms to showcase our rich and dynamic culture, it also testifies how far the Ghanaian fashion industry has come.
It is fascinating when you see TV news casters and presenters using African Wear. Now, every institution in Ghana both government and non governmental agencies all put on African wear on Fridays as part of the National Friday wear initiative. All this instances corresponding to Africa wear tells us critically that the people of Ghana are ready to portray and patronize their culture and traditions if only our leaders could bring up some productive concepts and initiatives.