Isaw this story at Fashion Week Daily and could not help but chuckle. Yale University honors Malcom Harris by renaming the Sankofa Group Award in his name. In addition, the award is said to epitomize Mal Sirrah, Inc.‘s tag line, fashion company owned by Harris, “with great personal luxury comes greater social responsibility.” I’m loving it! Harris was key in the mobilization of the fashion industry for the “Designers for Darfur” event. That Yale would recognize and award Harris for his work got me thinking and chuckling about ivy league schools in Africa.
Is there a remote possibility that ivy league schools in Africa would even think about creating room for humanitarian awards for Africa’s designers? Yup! Africa does have its own Ivy Leagues people. Anyway, Africans for the most part are very driven when it comes to education but it appears there is a one size fits all formula. Must every African educated person be a lawyer, doctor or engineer? There is and continues to be room for all kinds of genres of fashion professions i.e. fashion/print designer, buyers, fashion journalist, photographers, manufacturers and more. I can only imagine the fate that awaits the African child who, for example, tells his/her parents, “mom, dad. I don’t want to be a doctor. I want to be a fashion designer. I can hear the loud and annoyed retort “Fashion what??!!!” It is kind of comical to visualize. Too much Nollywood movies for me.
You can get a PHD in fashion. It’s how you want to play it. Follow your passison if that is what you want! What a day it will be if an Ivy League schools in Africa recognizes and extend an award to Africa’s designers like Malcolm Harris who understand the need to balance fashion with humanitarianism and social consciousness. I think I will be chuckling, laughing and smiling that it finally happened, in Africa!
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