Traditional African clothing to be paraded at charity fashion event

Ada, Eugenia, Charles, Francess, Cici and Prince. Image by Joe Mastroianni

Sewing machines purred as reams of brilliantly coloured fabric were transformed into jumpsuits, pants, jackets and headscarves at Sunshine Arts Studio last week.

The young women and men who sat hunched over them were all young African Australians who have been working for months to design and sew traditional African clothing they’ll parade themselves down the catwalk at the Victorian Croquet Centre on October 29.

It will be Kontiki Women Empowerment’s fourth runway event, which began as a way to showcase the artistic talents of the not-for-profit group’s young members.

Francess Sesay
Francess Sesay

Kontiki founders Charles and Francess Sesay, who left Sierra Leone during the country’s civil war in 1996 before migrating to Australia in 2007, began the group in 2013. Mr Sesay says he and his wife started the group to help transform young African migrants’ lives.

“We need to give our African community a means of empowerment,” he says.

Kontiki Artistic Fashion Runway, from 7pm on Saturday, October 29 at the Victorian Croquet Centre, 65 Nobel Banks Drive, Cairnlea. For tickets, contact Prince on 0412 909 843 or Charles on 0411 087 462.