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Thursday 29th of September 2022

Nairobi, Kenya

Rwanda: Rwandese Lady Mugabekazi Lilliane Detained For Inappropriate Attire

In Rwanda, a 24-year-old woman is currently imprisoned for wearing “indecent” clothing to a performance.
The woman wearing the See me through dress with her pants completely exposed can be seen in the viral photo that went popular on social media.
As far as one could tell from the picture after noticing her black pant, one could tell she was braless, but it was impossible to tell if she actually wore a bra.
The Rwandan government then detained this woman and accused her of wearing indescent clothing. Mugabekazi Lilliane has been denied bail and will remain in custody as requested by the prosecution in a closed-door hearing.

News of the arrest sparked outrage among some Rwandans, but government officials including former justice minister Johnston Busingye backed the move.

Mugabekazi Lilliane has been denied bail and will remain in custody as requested by the prosecution in a closed-door hearing. She was accused of “Public Indecency,” a crime that carries a maximum 2-year prison sentence under Penal Code Article 143.

A 24-year-old woman named Mugabekazi Lilliane is in court today on counts of indecent dressing.

The image was captured during a concert in Kigali. However, her attorney requested that the matter be heard behind closed doors. The administration has committed to control indescent clothing.

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Prosecutors claimed that she committed a “major criminal” by attending the event in “clothing that disclose her private parts…things that we label shameful.”

“We want the court to remand Mugabekazi for 30 days based on these significant grounds.”

“She may have engaged in public obscenity,” “Faustin Nkusi, a spokesperson for the prosecution, told AFP that the court would decide on Tuesday whether to grant her bail.

Some Rwandans expressed outrage upon hearing of the arrest, but government officials, including former justice minister Johnston Busingye, supported the action.

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Busingye, who is currently Rwanda’s ambassador to Britain, tweeted, “The current issue of our young men and women who drink and drug themselves unconscious, stand in public literally nude, is unpleasant.

I support the initiatives taken to address it.

Last week, police spokesman John Bosco Kabera condemned what he called “immorality and vulgarity among young people” in a television appearance.

“This problem is getting worse… you see people walking about in just shirts, no shorts, no pants,” he remarked.

Then, wearing attire that resembles nets, these folks enter public spaces.

The first right is to dress correctly, not to wear indecently, he said in response to the program host’s question on whether “such people did not have a right to dress as they pleased.”

Content Courtesy of New 18 , Chimp Report & NFH

Divine Nshuti Muheto, 19 Year Old, Was Crowned Miss Rwanda 2022 At A Glittering Grand Finale In Kigali, Rwanda.

The Miss Rwanda Organization, which organizes Rwanda’s well-known beauty pageant, has concluded the Miss Rwanda 2022 contest by crowning the winner, Miss Nshuti Muheto Divine.

The contest finals were held at the Intare Conference Arena in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, with 19 beauty queens vying for the crown after a month of boot camp.

Several rounds of questions aimed at testing the girls’ beauty, brains, and cultural values were administered in order to select the top eleven, top five, and then top three girls to be Miss Rwanda and two runners-up.

Muheto, who represented Western Province in auditions and also won Miss Popularity, is the first non-Kigali contestant to win the title since Liliane Iradukunda in 2018.
Muheto takes the throne in place of Grace Ingabire.
“I feel happy, blessed, and grateful,” she said after winning the crown. And I’d like to thank everyone who helped me along the way.”

On top of that, Miss Rwanda 2022 received a brand new car – Hyundai Venue offered by Hyundai Rwanda – and will receive monthly facilitation of Rwf800,000 from the Miss Rwanda organization during her reign, among many other perks from the organizers’ partners.
Africa Improved Foods (AIF) Rwanda will also provide financial support for her ‘beauty with a purpose project.

The 19-year-old beauty queen, a high school graduate, won the crown after beating out Maolithia Keza and Darina Kayumba, who finished first and second, respectively.

The girls responded in English, whereas participants may respond in any of three languages: French, English, or their mother tongue Kinyarwanda.
The Miss Rwanda pageant is accompanied by a slew of lucrative prizes from a variety of partners. This year’s winner received, among other things, a brand-new Hyundai car from Hyundai Rwanda.

Meanwhile, among the 19 girls, several other positions were awarded, including the girl with the best health and reproductive initiative, sports challenge, Miss Photogenic, Miss Talent, Miss Popularity, Miss Heritage, and Miss Innovation.

Previously, parents discouraged their children from competing in Miss Rwanda, fearing that it would distract them from their studies, given that the majority of them are university-aged girls.

Others worried that the girls would abandon their Rwandan values, but things have changed and participation has increased. The Miss Rwanda pageant has also grown in importance as a venue for advertisers.

Content courtesy of NFH

Matthew Rugamba Dressed For Success: Rwanda Fashion Label House of Tayo Breaks New Ground By Going Global

Kigali – Matthew Rugamba knew his Rwandan fashion label had arrived when Junior Nyong’o, the brother of Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, attended the world premiere of “Black Panther” in a three-piece suit designed by him.

Hours after the glitzy event in Los Angeles, the website for Rugamba’s brand House of Tayo exploded as inquiries flooded in from around the globe for his high-end creations.

“It changed the perspective,” the 32-year-old told AFP, still stunned by the turn of events that propelled his “made-in-Rwanda” label to a Hollywood red carpet.

“For so many years we have been telling people our fashion is good… but sometimes you need moments like that to really take it to the next level,” said Rugamba, who holds dual Rwandan and British nationality.

Kigali has yet to reach the heights of Africa’s fashion hub Lagos, but the capital of the small landlocked nation of 13 million hosts its own fashion week and draws a devoted clientele, comprising wealthy locals, expatriates, members of the diaspora, and tourists.

“I like the way they tailor the clothes, the way they design their clothes, I like the simplicity of it as well,” said Emmanuel Safari, a lawyer and frequent visitor to the House of Tayo boutique located in an upscale Kigali neighborhood.

“The clothes, you put them on and you feel good!”

Some Rwandan labels have even attracted the attention of President Paul Kagame, who was pictured wearing a shirt by bespoke Kigali brand Moshions.

‘Change the narrative’

But what is “Kigali style”? “It pops but it’s not flashy,” according to Jean-Victor Brun, a 50-year-old Haitian-American who came to Rwanda to develop projects in new technologies. “Modern, ethnic, and rooted in the identity of our country,” says Joselyne Umutoniwase, founder of Rwanda Clothing.

Identity is at the heart of many Rwandan brands, which excel in producing bespoke clothing – drawing on a tailoring tradition that dates back decades. For instance, Umutoniwase, who employs 45 people, incorporates the geometric designs characteristic of imigongo art – a style of painting that uses cow dung and natural pigments – into her creations.

Similarly, the beadwork found on royal headdresses and other traditional items finds its way onto jacket lapels, while Rwandan shoe label Uzuri K&Y borrows from the country’s weaving traditions to create braided sandals.

The brand’s co-founder Ysolde Shimwe said young designers like her were keen to change Rwanda’s image, 27 years after the 1994 genocide killed more than 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis.

“Ten years ago when you Googled Rwanda you only saw machetes, people killing each other and hungry kids in the streets,” she told AFP.

“We as designers in Rwanda are also contributing to change the narrative of Rwanda and mostly to changing how people perceive Rwanda because we are more than that, we are more than our historical background.”

Bullish prospects

Rwanda’s fashion industry has also received a helping hand from the government, which in 2016-17 massively hiked import taxes on second-hand clothing – mainly from the US and Europe – to promote local manufacturers.

The move, which saw duties multiply more than tenfold, effectively imposed a moratorium on trade involving the sale of secondhand clothing from the West at low prices to East African consumers.

Simultaneously the government allowed designers to import fabric tax-free, giving the nascent industry a boost, said Umutoniwase.

But, with more than 80 percent of the population living in rural areas, according to the World Bank, many Rwandans cannot afford these homegrown brands. Umutoniwase, whose prices range from around 70 dollars (60 euros) for a shirt to 80 dollars (70 euros) for a dress, told AFP the small market size presented big challenges.

Moreover, the devastation wrought by the genocide has also contributed to a huge skills shortage in the country, said designer Shimwe.

“Eight years ago when we wanted to start a shoemaking brand we could not necessarily find skilled labor, there was literally nobody that had experience or had shoemaking skills,” she said.

But in a sign of the industry’s bullish growth prospects, some of the nearly 1,100 staff trained by her have since gone on to found their own labels, she said.

“It’s a great cycle that we have been able to create.”

Content courtesy of AFP and Nairobi Fashion Hub 

Moshions launches Imandwa Fashion Collection SS22 in Kigali, Rwanda

As live fashion events made a disappearance under the Covid glare, the launch of Imandwa Fashion Collection by Rwanda’s Moshions Fashion House has relit the stage and set a blistering pace for the fashion industry.

Imandwa has also sparked debate on the critical but uncomfortable discussion surrounding gender stereotyping and masculinity and their place present traditional and contemporary society.

The November 8 and 9 showcase at Atelier, the newly re-launched space in Kimihurura, Kigali, rekindled the space that audiences knew events to be.

Easing of the pandemic-related lockdowns saw a gradual return of music concerts but Imandwa took to fashion.
Of note about this collection is the bringing together of the handicraft of Moses Turahirwa of Moshions, who designs outfits inspired by traditional and ancient art and designs. Right from Umwitero, the traditional wearable robe, complimented with entwined beadwork from the Imigongo, an ancient art form, into various finishes.

Cedric Mizero of Amizero Designs sparked debate especially for his unique makes; of abstract craft inspired by life and nature themes like the environment, space, and the wild, which he believes speak to generations.

This year’s collection follows their first collaboration last year where they produced the Zero-Waste Jacket, a long-sleeved stylish unisex outfit designed from recycled remains of leftover cloths pieces.

Striking difference
Unlike the typical fashion events where models graced the runways, Imandwa is a fixed exhibition, of live fashion models posing amidst traditionally crafted and preassembled fore and backgrounds, which occupy Atelier’s upper space.

A lively curated tour guide by the designers themselves takes the audience through their creations.
Male models dressed in jackets, shirts, and shorts, made mostly from wool, and silk. The outfits sport partially hand-dyed baselines along with the trousers. To add sparkle, they are ornamented with tailored hand-beaded embroidery of traditionally shaped craft. The outfit is supplemented with the Umwitero, a light silky robe that is wrapped from the shoulder, chest to waist.

The showcase is backed by well-crafted traditional sets, of a different make. One has bean ornaments, another stands amidst hundreds of bricks. Yet another in between clay pottery, while the last two models emerge from what seems like a grass-thatched African village hut.

Gender stereotypes
Imandwa brings to fore tradition. Even in their past collections, there has been a running theme to address gender stereotyping, with masculinity at the fore.

The male models, clad in African masks designed to emulate Rwandan faces of Amasunzu, an ancient hairstyle, emerge from the background and stand. For a few minutes, they look straight up, then slowly take off the mask, pose a little more before returning to their hideouts or safe spaces.

Content courtesy of East African & Nairobi Fashion Hub 

Rwanda to Host Commonwealth Fashion Council 2021 at The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

The fashion and textile industries will be a focus of this year’s Commonwealth Business Forum, an event associated with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be held in Kigali, Rwanda. Business leaders, heads of government, ministers and senior policymakers will gather, in person, from 22 to 24 June 2021.

“Members of the Commonwealth Fashion Council such as Omoyemi Akelere, founder of Lagos Fashion Week, Claudia Lumor, the Ghanaian founder of Glitz Africa Magazine and the Glitz Style Awards, and Sheena Frida from the Kenyan Fashion Council have been invited to form panel discussions on re-thinking Pan-Commonwealth cooperation,” said Daniel Hatton, Chief Executive and Founder of the Commonwealth Fashion Council (CFC).

The CFC is a council of fashion industry leaders from across The Commonwealth, an association of 54 sovereign states headed by Queen Elizabeth II that is home to 2.4 billion people living on six continents. The 26th edition of the biennial CHOGM summit was due to take place last year before being postponed.

“Blue fashion, the sustainable use of ocean-based materials in fashion, will also be a topic of conversation, as East Africa enjoys untapped resources across its coastlines,” Hatton added.

As part of the forum’s programme on the global economic recovery, which spans issues such as supply chain disruptions and digital infrastructure, one session will be dedicated to the future of the textile industries in Commonwealth economies that were severely impacted by the pandemic.

“Fashion and textiles are crucial industries in many Commonwealth countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Ghana. Government and fashion industry leaders will benefit from a post-Covid discussion about the future of the industry and its impact on sustainability, jobs, and rapid digital transition,” said Samantha Cohen, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.

Companies focused on the fiber to the fabric supply chain as well as apparel, footwear, and textile manufacturers such as Hussain Mills, Ravi Spinning Mills, MAS Holdings, Brandix, Hirdaramani Group, KAD Manufacturing, Shasha Denims, Nishat Group, Ha-meem Group, DBL Group, and Plexus Cotton, will attend from across the Commonwealth.

Content courtesy of Bussines of Fashion & Nairobi fashion hub

The Rwanda Journalists for Sustainable Development ( RJSD )to Launch Officially its activities, in a Meeting that will be held to the Virtual Conference.

The Rwanda Journalists for Sustainable Development (RJSD) is in preparations for the launch of its activities, following the receipt of legal documents issued by the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) for non-profit organizations operating in Rwanda.

The launch will be on 25/02/2021, at 10:00 AM at ZOOM Cloud Meeting, as well as live streaming on other social media such as YouTube, Facebook, and others, in order to comply with the Covid19 epidemic prevention guidelines, as provided by MINISANTE and WHO.

The meeting will feature three discussions, all aimed at outlining the RJSD’s plans and objectives and welcoming new members who wish to join the organization.

It is in 2019 that journalists from the Rwandan and international media have merged forces to create the RJSD ‘Rwanda Journalists for Sustainable Development’ to help Rwandans, in general, achieve sustainable development, with access to information. The founders of the organization aim to provide assistance and advice to young journalists in the profession.

Celestin Ntawirema, a spokesman for the RJSD, said that young journalists needed advocacy and assistance because if left unmanaged well as they could be.

Ntawirema said: “Here in Rwanda we know that journalists who already popular are the ones shifting the media houses. There are other upcoming journalists in this profession who are not easy to find the media working with them, even they don’t have more experience”.

“We want to emerge the experience with those young journalists to assist them to become more professional. Among the things we will help with these people are to help them to get training and help them to increase their knowledge at the international level with a view of bringing them into employment that will lead them to sustainable development.” He said.

Ntawirema added that there are still a large number of journalists studying journalism in Rwanda, but that they are not doing what they have learned because it is still difficult for the journalists to get a good job which would lead them to development.

For Ntawirema, he recognizes that sites such as the YouTube channel are another concern to the media that people would ignore, and could lead to further problems in the future in the Rwandan media industry. He explains that those who do this work should be reminded of the general principles and rules of journalism both in Rwanda and around the world.

“Look, for example, people who are starting this job, are those being not educated, have no training, so you find that things are getting mixed up in the wrong way. RJSD is planning to work with the government, private sector, and other partners, to train those journalists for increasing their knowledge and work better,” he said.

Other activities planned by the RJSD include working with universities and schools of journalism, media, and communications, as well as secondary schools. It is in order to help the students in these schools to increase the knowledge they need today and to help them get into professional journalism and to get sustainable development.

Content courtesy of The Rwanda Journalists for Sustainable Development & Nairobi fashion hub

Highlights From Rwanda Fashion 2020

The fashion industry in Rwanda, like other sectors, suffered many losses last year. The industry was hit by the pandemic with a big drop in sales registered globally, as the demand for clothes and fashion accessories went down.

With the lockdown measures that were put in place by the government taking effect, fashion designers couldn’t organize any events which had been planned, hence setting them back.

Despite the challenges, this didn’t hinder new fashion entrants to showcase and exhibit unique styles.  We bring you the fashion highlights of 2020;

Ikamba Apparel

This is a lately launched ‘Made in Rwanda’ clothing brand with a touch of Vogue and a taste for African design, It was founded by Gratia Teta, Deborah Mwanganjye, and Kessy Mugabo Kayiganwa from African Leadership University (ALU).

Ikamba Apparel comprises three young students who are hungry to follow their dream, thus eventually creating a unity that led to a business. They are all students pursuing International Business Trade at African Leadership University (ALU).

The brand caters to all age groups and targets both middle and high-class clothing styles; epitomized via an assortment of elegant and streetwear.

Kezem clothing brand

23-year-old Emmanuel Keza Niyonsenga is the brains behind Kezem, a new Rwandan clothing brand that ‘communicates the Rwandan story and Africa in general’.

Though his skill is mostly self-taught, he also got additional training from Rwanda Clothing, a local fashion brand where he was skilled in the significance and power of a brand, and how to work with clients to satisfaction.

He has designed many of the Iwacu Muzika festival artistes, many of whom are Art Rwanda Ubuhanzi colleagues and celebrities like Alyn Sano, among models and other celebrities.

‘Rufuku’ collections

Laurent Nsengumuremyi, also known as Nelly, 25, also sought means to penetrate the fashion industry, which is why he invented ‘Rufuku’.

‘Rufuku’ is a fabric of old-fashioned blankets that he uses to make all sorts of attires, from blazers, cardigans, to skirts, dresses, and many others.

Zoi

Zoi, which is Greek for ‘life’, is a clothing line that was started by the Mackenzies. This is a group of five young ladies namely Naomie Nishimwe, who is the current Miss Rwanda 2020, Kelly Uwineza, Kathia Kamali Uwase, Brenda Iradukunda and Pamela Loana Uwase. They are all related.

Their brand that was launched on October 9 produces clothes for all genders, with the choice to scale up an outfit liable on the size of the customer.

The Mackenzies use social media to market and advertise their own clothing line, acting as models for their own designs. The demand for their clothes was enormous which pushed them to work harder.

Moshions goes international

Local fashion house “Moshions” is not only focusing on the local market but also eyeing the international market in the most effective way.

Moshions’ aim is to create a traditionally enthused frill brand that has roots in Rwanda as well as Africa.

The brand received criticism recently when it unveiled its online store, as many people accused them of setting high prices for clothes that they think are not supposed to be expensive.

According to Dany Rugamba, the business manager at Moshions, the people who cannot afford a cloth will certainly say something is expensive, even when there are many others who can afford it.

To him, the same feedback was given even when the fashion house was just starting, yet people actually buy. It is this support that has grown the brand.

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Fashion brands that featured on Beyoncé Knowles’ website

Four Rwandan fashion brands; House of Tayo, Inzuki Designs, Moshions, and Haute Baso on August 2, were amazed to see their creations listed among the top African fashion brands that featured on American singer Beyoncé Knowles’ website.

Most of the designers said that there was no application made to feature on the platform, but their designs were suggested by their customers and famous fashion stars in Africa and beyond.

East Africa Fashion Awards

Two Rwandan media personalities, Makeda Mahadeo and Christelle Kabagire were nominated for East Africa’s Most Stylish Female Host of the Year, at the East Africa Fashion Awards.

The event took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in March. Makeda is a Kigali-based CNBC Africa journalist, media personality, deejay, and emcee, while Christelle is known for her fashion show ‘In Style’, which airs on Rwanda Television every Tuesday and Wednesday. The event sought to distinguish the most outstanding achievements of individuals and brands that contributed to the growth of the fashion industry in East Africa.

Face masks

When the government announced the compulsory wearing of face masks in public due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many fashion designers and manufacturers came on board to produce masks. While face masks range from Rwf300 (surgical masks) to about Rwf1, 000 (cotton face masks) for different sellers, Moshions drew a lot of reaction from the public as their face masks go for Rwf10, 000.

After thorough training on producing mask equipment and inspections done by Rwanda FDA, more than 20 domestic companies were authorized to repurpose facilities into the production of PPEs, in April. Although their worry at that time was that the demand for the equipment would exceed their supply, it is the opposite. By August, 40 local manufacturers had unsold stocks of over three million face masks.

Content courtesy of The New Times Rwanda & Nairobi fashion hub 

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