Monday 24th of June 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

African Fashion: Ghana Must Go Bags Are Used by a Nigerian Fashion Designer to Produce Memorable Garments.

Posted On : September 12, 2023

Oscar Alochi


One thing is certain: this bag is well-liked among Africans. Some refer to it as a “Ghana Must Go” bag, while others refer to it as a “Mashangaan bag,” and others who disagree with the first two refer to it as a “Khonz’ekhaya. In Kenya, the bag is commonly known as Osuofia Bag ”

Strong plastic bags, or ukhonz’ekhanya as they are known in Zulu, are frequently used by Africans who travel great distances. When returning to their homelands after spending time in the city, where they work to support their families, they frequently use this bag to transport heavy luggage.

The exhibition “Anyi N’aga – We Are Going” was curated by Nigerian multidisciplinary artist Chioma Obiegbu in partnership with bnnà bomà. She provides more information about the bag that is popular on our continent.

“In West Africa, the blue and white or occasionally red, black, and white checkered bags known as Ghana Must Go earned not only appeal but also a connection to migration during the 1980s in Nigeria when millions of undocumented Ghanaians were evicted from that country.

The bags got their moniker because many of them used them to bundle and send their possessions back to Ghana, according to Obiegbu.

Obiegbu uses fashion to convey the stories of West African immigration while collaborating with a large group of brilliant African creatives.

“The movement of individuals across nearby boundaries and distant continents has recently been a reoccurring issue, especially with the advent of globalization.

“Many people migrate in search of better economic opportunities, employment, educational opportunities, and marriage opportunities—bringing their possessions, cultures, and beliefs with them,” she said.

“Anyi N’aga – We Are Going explores migration and heritage as they relate to the aforementioned points through the lens of fashion, while artistically drawing on the symbolism of the Ghana Must Go bags as they have been associated with travel and migration.”

South African designer Wanda Lephoto uses the bags’ prints in some of his works, while Obiegbu uses the actual bags to create fashion items.

He incorporated the Ghana Must Go prints, for instance, in his “PEOPLE” Spring/Summer ’24 collection. He incorporated the Ghana Must Go prints in a line he named “Me Fie” for this collection.

In the Ghanaian language of Akan, “Me Fie” means “My Place of Origin. The late Virgil Abloh’s 3% design philosophy, which held that you might create something new by altering a procedure, a product, or a perspective by 3%, was the inspiration for the collection, according to Lephoto.

Content courtesy of  IOL & NFH

Oscar Alochi


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