Miss West Africa International Launches Africa Fashion Day

International Beauty Queen of West Africa, Shireen Benjamin has vowed to dedicate her time and effort to increasing the support of African fashion. Working alongside the Miss West Africa event organizers, Shireen Benjamin has launched a campaign called “African Music for Fashion”; in the process she will also be launching ‘African Fashion Day’ which will take place on August 6 and subsequently on the first Saturday of every August.

Shireen Benjamin said she is highly impressed at the continuous growth of the African music industry, but highly appalled that despite this growth you can sit in front of your TV set watching African music for an hour and hardly see individuals wearing African attire, neither mentioning nor promoting the names of any African designers. Instead they use their voice and musical appeal to continue promoting the same designers that neglect our shops, models, magazines and even the musicians of Africa. “African fashion from all regions of Africa is beautiful and we can’t wait for the people and media abroad to appreciate it before we become more confident with wearing it,” she comments.

The ‘African Music for Fashion’ campaign is targeted at African musicians, record labels and music video directors due to the fact that our musicians are increasingly becoming icons within the African continent, even encouraging MTV to organize and hold the MTV African Music Awards annual ceremony. Even if the musicians/artists feel as if they are only representing themselves as individuals, being in the limelight of popular culture, there is always a fraction of society that is influenced by their actions and words, Africans and non Africans alike.

Shireen also believes that African artists who choose to wear African clothing will actually have a bigger impact on the international community than those who strive to imitate the Western style. “People in the West, whether Africans abroad or people from other nations, love West African music because it’s refreshing and a break from the norm. It can only help an artist if he/she embraces a full African identity, otherwise his/her presence is no different to what we have all seen many times before, suits, half naked women and car. That is so 90s. Youssou N’Dour to date is one of the biggest West African artists and he appears at many huge concerts worldwide. He has also worked with big artists such as Wyclef Jean. Youssou N’Dour has always stayed true to african style and fashion in music videos and on stage.”

Shireen Benjamin also states that her campaign and public speeches will not only be directed at encouraging music artists to promote the African brand, but the public in general. She says “The artists are a means to the goal, and the goal is the society. The reason why this campaign is mainly targeting artists, is because, despite politicians and their political power, musicians have always been the most influential icons of every African/black community, therefore, the change will be a lot faster happen a lot quicker without the artists if we ourselves embrace our culture.

According to the beauty queen, models, fashion show organizers and designers in Africa cannot complain about the lack of support and growth in African fashion when they hardly have one picture of themselves and their patrons, on any networking website, wearing African attire. She added that “We are rich with creativity and we need to see these changes, we can’t be exploiting the dream by doing fashion weeks and shows, if even the organizers don’t wear it. We need to see these changes in our movies, in our music and even in our clubs. I think we should all work towards the day when you walk through the streets of Africa, even the popular cities, that we see a crowd flourishing with African attires.”

Shireen Benjamin’s “African Music for Fashion” will be posted on all the Miss West Africa websites. She intends to use her international popularity to give back to Africa. Shireen who is currently the first African titled beauty queen to be featured twice in OK magazine, put together a shoot right before leaving to Atlanta for the Beffta USA using African fabrics to inspire and encourage the belief that there is African attire for all occasions. The shoot had onboard international renowned fashion photographer Phil Antony, designs from Scissorhands Couture, Jessique Designs and was styled by MiNC Models and make up by Mutsumi.

Shireen says she is looking forward to meeting her successor in Nigeria this December, where the next Miss West Africa (now Miss West Africa International) will take place.

For More Info on Shireen Benjamin and Miss West Africa International, see below

Miss West Africa ltd
+44(0)207 630 0064

See the African Queen’s pictures below.

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