A traditional African print shirt called The Dashiki is currently enjoying a new growth-spurt in trend. It has been around for many years and continues to be an important part of the fashion culture found in Islamic African communities and the African diaspora, and, as of late, it has established itself as a global trend for the first time since the 1960s. The Dashiki comes in various styles, the one we are most familiar with probably being the loose-fitting printed pullover with a V-shaped collar, vibrant colours and intricate embroidery. In Senegal, it is worn as a Kaftan, whereas purists tend to prefer the short-sleeved traditional Dashiki shirt.
The dashiki shirt was originally worn as a functional, casual garment. Due it’s light-fitting cut and breathable, cotton material, the dashiki – as a shirt or kaftan – is the preferred garment for hot summer months, but now that it is available in different styles, it has established itself as real trend item. Traditionally, the colours of the dashiki determine the occasion on which it is worn. In many African communities it is the customary attire for weddings, funerals and other special events. A wedding typically calls for a grey dashiki although some communities have taken to lavender and blue as well, as blue symbolizes loyalty and love for the African continent. Funeral occasions call for red and black colours, red symbolizing longing and love, whereas black signifies death.
During the Civil Rights and Black Panther movements of the 60s and late 70s, the Dashiki became a symbol of black power and was a worn as a statement, a rejection of Western cultural norms and a celebration of black beauty and heritage. By 1967, the New Breed Clothing Ltd brand was launched in Harlem, under the direction of Jason Benning, William Smith, Howard Davis and Milton Clarke, and began mass producing the dashikis as unisex garments, reaching an even bigger audience. But as the dashiki trend increased in popularity and reached various countercultures – particularly the hippies – it its significance as a garment of black pride was somewhat lost.
Over the years, the dashiki has evolved from a loose-fitted shirt mainly worn by men, to unisex kaftans and full-length and short dresses, making it a versatile garment that can be worn on any occasion. It is no longer reserved for Afrocentric cultural events but has become a vital part of street-style fashion on a global level. Marvel’s Black Panther movie, which premiered earlier this year, brought on a rise in traditional African wear and many a devoted fan was seen attending the film in a dashiki garment. Celebrities have also helped popularize the dashiki – stars like Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, Rhianna, Alicia Keys, Elle Varner and Nicki Minaj have all taken a shine to the African fashion style and have sported unique dress, coat and shirt designs on various occasions.
Though it is now being worn by many different cultures – with the Asian market currently being one of the biggest mass-producers of dashiki style garments – African-American communities have reclaimed it as a style that reconnects them to their ancestors and this type of empowerment through fashion was largely inspired through global events – particularly the ongoing racial disparity in the USA – and the powerful message movies like Marvel’s Black Panther and Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time conveyed: black culture matters and should be represented in the mainstream as much as any other culture. The dashiki is a versatile fashion item that has passed the tests of time and we look forward to the continuously evolving styles of the future.
There’s no secret to happiness, and finding peace and self-acceptance can take time, determination, and hard-fought self-discovery. Recognizing when you need assistance from others can help you to save time, effort, and money when you might have wasted it on other practices. Practices that don’t necessarily get to the root cause of your unhappiness, such as self-medicating and retail therapy. Important things can change when you decide to take control of your happiness and try to spend time with those that inspire and uplift you, keep your body nourished with good food, and learn to accept what makes you – you. Try the following tips to step closer to being happy.
Accept When You Need Help
If you know that you could benefit from boosting your confidence after suffering a knockback at work, in your personal life, or with your health, then it’s time to seek help and begin repairing yourself. However, it can be incredibly difficult to admit that you are struggling, so isn’t it better to get the hard part over and done as soon as possible? When you don’t realize your true worth and potential, then it’s easy to lose interest in your health and slip into unhealthy and unhelpful practices. Mental health treatment can help you see your self-worth and to regain control over your life again.
Pay Attention To Your Diet
Resist the urge to eat too much sugar, and to add unhealthy fats into your diet in the form of excessive amounts of cheese, burgers, red meats, butter, and fast food. Instead, choose foods containing healthy fats such as avocados, olives, olive oil, coconuts, and nut and seeds. You need to change the way you snack during the day, and if you’re guilty of this then make a real concentrated effort to eat pieces of fruit and vegetables in the place of high-sugar high-fat quick fixes like chocolate, crisps, sugary cereal bars, and energy drinks. Remember to have your five-a-day, and begin to add more vegetables to your recipes and steadily decrease how much salt, sugar, and cheese you add to season and garnish your food.
Embrace Your Flaws
What you perceive to be flaws might not actually be flaws at all, especially in the eyes of others. Imperfections are what make you different from robots and cyborgs – they’re human, and allow humanity to enjoy individuality from each other. Of course, if there’s something that’s preventing you from enjoying certain aspects of your life like your weight, your inability to drive, or your living arrangements, then try to work hard to try and improve your current situation.
Spend Time With Encouraging People
When you limit the amount of time you spend with those you don’t actively support and encourage you, your life will improve. Negative outlooks on your ability can impede how you see yourself, and what you can achieve. If you never think you can do something, then you probably won’t even try which would be a huge shame. If you believe you have something to offer and achieve within your life, then don’t allow others to shatter your dreams – they’re yours and no one else’s. Spend your free time surrounded by those who believe in you and inspire you to want to strive for more and work harder.
Danai Gurira is the latest famous face to front her own Reebok campaign. The Black Panther and Walking Dead star joins Gal Gadot, Gigi Hadid, and Ariana Grande, who have all starred in a their own campaigns or are set to star in one.
“Danai brings with her a unique intensity that’s already inspired countless women to discover their own strength,” said Todd Krinsky, GM of Reebok Performance in an official statement. “We’re thrilled to have her join our family and help lead this inspiring coalition.”
Gurira talked about the importance of supporting women and what it means to be strong. She also shared a letter that she wrote to her a younger self.
“We all view strength differently: through physicality, through mental fortitude, through honesty and perhaps most importantly through community,” said Gurira in an official statement. “My goal is to work with Reebok to galvanize women in all communities to find strength within themselves so that we may continue to lead this cultural revolution. Each one of us should be hero to each other.”
The taxi driver in Dakar gets a note with an address. He nods and drives. As always, going by taxi in chaotic Dakar, he stops in a place – far from the address. Some helpful people leas us to Selly Rabe Kane’s showroom/home/meeting place/office in Ouakam district.
“A Dakarois would never say ‘I do not know.’ Better taking a chance,” Kane laughs when we arrive.
When you meet up with someone in Dakar, it’s like going to a party. We arranged an interview and photography session with Selly. But, upon arriving, we discovered a CNN team already in place, for a feature story about the world famous hip-hop group Daara J Family, aka Faada Freddy and Ndongo D.
“My brothers,” says Kane.
Throughout the day, people come and go, and of course we talk to everyone. The scene is a typical day amongst creatives in Dakar. Everyone collaborates and supports one another to achieve individual success.
“We have all worked together in small groups, I joined one called Les Petites Pierres, we helped one another to move on,” says Kane.
Selly Raby Kane has taken the creative world by storm with her colorful surrealist clothes, worn by celebrities like Beyonce. Kane has also featured alongside her creations in numerous fashion and design publications.
Kane is also a major figure in the art world. In the past she has collaborated with photographer Omar Victor Diop (a longtime friend) for Africa, Architecture, Culture and Identity, a major exhibition that toured several museums all over the world.
Most recently, Kane was appointed creative director of the prestigious Design Indaba organization in South Africa.
Kane admits that she sees no difference between fashion design, art, film or other forms of expression.
“Fashion became a way of expressing myself. But I’m interested in all kinds of media,” says Kane.
Before launching her creative endeavors, Kane moved to Paris in the early 2000s to study economics. She ultimately wanted to be a lawyer, but soon realized that she neither liked France nor her chosen professional path.
“France was heavy for me. Many were so predictable and I wanted to develop and had to come home again.”
“Here in Dakar almost everything happens by accident and that’s how I want to live,” she says.
Selly and I sit down on a soggy wooden bench in the middle of the room and talk about her latest collaboration with Ikea. In 2019, the furniture giant will launch a collection new products under the name Överallt.
Kane is one of 10 African artists who took part in the project and worked closely with a team of 4 Swedish designers.
“My first thought when they called? What is going on?
I was so happy, mainly because it meant my thoughts about constantly finding new creative ways – not just fashion – had begun to happen.”
“Getting a job with Ikea felt like a huge challenge,” says Kane.
“I was not sure how my universe could work with a mass-producing company like Ikea. Gladly, it worked very well,” she adds.
At first she wanted to create something from the street culture in Dakar. She focused on hair and hairstyles hairstyles, an important part the culture for many Dakarois.
“I wanted to make furniture inspired by hair. It was not easy and I felt along the way I was losing my expression,” says Kane.
“But, we eventually managed to find something both I and Ikea were pleased with.”
The final result is still shrouded in secrecy. “Lamps and baskets,” the only detail that Kane would reveal.
As the evening falls, we head over to Galerie Manége in central Dakar to see her new exhibition The Past, The Present, The Future and the Praying Mantis.
The show offers a unique experience where Kane mixes sculpture, graffiti, fashion and art. Everything is set to a hip-hop score created by Ibaaku and Chipkit AK.
As usual in Dakar, several of her artist friends are involved in the exhibition.
“I see a creative revolution among young designers in Africa, not only in Dakar and Cape Town.”
“The technical development of the Internet open the opportunity to work worldwide”, says Kane.
While Kane is planning to continue launching new fashion collections, she is also exploring new technology.
“Fashion is one channel but right now I’m interested in Virtual Reality. I worked with a VR company in South Africa to create new life in Dakar urban legends our grandmothers and grandmothers told us about.”
It was really exciting,” says Kane about the upcoming project, titled The Other Dakar.
“Young people in Dakar can express themselves from their deep roots. They do not have to live and work in a western country to be accepted as designers or artists.”
“They can be ambassadors for their own environment.”
Los Angeles singer, songwriter and producer Adanna Duru releases her second EP, Manic Pixie Dreamgirl. All 7 tracks were written and produced by Duru herself, with co-production from Wiidope, who has worked with Esperanza Spalding.