A Guide to Zambia Fashion Week

This year was the first time I was attending Zambia Fashion Week. I was excited because I love events and nervous because I never know what to wear to these things. I got there and I realized that I shouldn’t have been worried at all. However, there were a few things that I noticed that could improve your experience at the Fashion Week. So here are a few tips on how to get the best from Fashion Week.

Wear Red Lipstick

Wear Red lipstick (or any other color) for no other reason than that it will make you feel pretty. I rarely wear makeup even when I’m going out but I decided to wear red lipstick this time. Because I wasn’t dressed up, it made me feel just a bit more adult.

Look at the Audience

The best outfits are not just limited to the models on the runway. Some of the audience comes dressed to kill. There are so many interesting outfits and combinations among the people. All you have to do is just look for them. So don’t just pay attention to the stage. Look around once in a while, you might find some fashion gems.

Get your phone ready

You’re going to want to take a lot of photos of the outfits and we all know you will take loads of selfies. So you need to be prepared for that. Charge your phone till the battery is full before the event. And if you know that your battery has a charge life equivalent to the lifespan of the characters in Game of Thrones, you might want to carry a spare battery.

You also need to make sure your phone has enough storage space. So backup the thousands of selfies in your gallery and erase them because you wouldn’t want to run out of space in the middle of all the fun. Plus lack of space slows down the phone and the only thing worse than a slow phone is a slow WiFi.

Don’t stick to the final night

Most people just pick the final night of Fashion Week to make an appearance. But I would advise you to also go on the other nights. The designers are all really good and I swear they don’t save the best for last. Of course the big names might be on the final night but from what I have seen in so many industries, it’s the young and hungry small names that are the most impressive. Besides, tickets to the other nights are cheaper and there is no restriction on seating.

Be Early

The tickets say 6 pm and because we’re in Zambia we know the show will start at 7 pm right? Well, yeah the show will start at 7 but if you come late you won’t pick the nice seats. Because there is no restriction in the seating plan, if you come early enough you can even sit in the front row for no extra charge.

Carry reinforcements

Zambia Fashion Week in October which is the hottest month in Zambia. So don’t assume you will be seated directly under an air-con. Carry a cute little paper fan or something like that to help keep cool. Also If you have eye issues, you might want to carry your glasses with you just in case you need them. The runway is really lit up and you will be starring into the bright light for over 2 hours so your eye-glasses will come in handy.

So that’s it. I hope these help you at the next Fashion week you attend or any event for that matter. Do you have anything else that could help? Let me know.

The photo in this post was taken by Fortress Media Photography and you can see more photos of the Zambia fashion Week on their Facebook and Flickr page. Check them out.

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Zambia Fashion Week 2015: My Fave Designers

During the Zambia Fashion Week there were some designers that stood out. I saw the work of over 40 designers and while most of them were good, some just reached into my heart with their clothes and made a lasting impression.  As I said on the outfits, my knowledge of fashion is quite limited but I like creativity and beauty so some of the designers did that for me.

Feature Image Designers names

Charity Musowa

The fact that she used environment friendly, hand-made, bio-degradable material just blew my mind. The outfits were roughly beautiful. Two of her outfits made it to my favorite outfit list and the rest were equally beautiful. The richness of the colors stood out.

Charity Collection

Charity Collection 2

Charity Collection 3

Karen Nakamba

This lady explained that her clothes were inspired by the Masai which was quite interesting to watch. She used synthetic hair in her outfits which made so much sense coz Masai men are very good at braiding hair. She also used the red and blue colors that are key in Masai clothes. What caught my attention was a model wearing something that was made up of bath scrunchies sewn together. I was like “Whaaat?!! Who does that? Who even thinks of that?”

Masai Collection KN

Masai Collection

Chizo

Her Collection was elegant and had hints of personality. I loved her collection because most of it was stuff I would wear but it wasn’t plain or nondescript. Some of her outfits were my favorites so here are a couple more examples. I also like how bright the colors are.

Chizo 1

DebbieChu

DebbieChu’s designs were insane, unconventional and outrageous. She went against the Zambian fashion tide and created stuff that most people would not picture themselves wearing. She went ahead and created art. Something you look at and ask “What the hell were you thinking?”. It’s something that looked like the cast of Game of Thrones would wear. It was different. I was glad she didn’t use Chitenge because a lot of the other designers used it a lot. The black rose in the models’ mouth was novel. The models came in with a whole different grungy attitude. I also liked that she made her theme well known and had it written on the first outfit. She really did put a lot of thought in this exhibition. And then she came out and walked down the runway so unapologetic and with the same attitude as her models. She was fierce!

OOTHB

OOTHB DC

OOTHB 2

Which designers stood out for you? What do you think about these designers? Let me know what you think.

All photos in this post were taken by Fortress Media Photography and you can see more photos of the Zambia fashion Week on their Facebook and Flickr page. Check them out.

Zambia Fashion Week 2015: My Fave Outfits.

I’m not fashion savvy but I like looking at people wearing nice clothes so Zambia Fashion week was an event I definitely wanted to attend. There were so many outfits that were modeled and so many designers that exhibited. The Fashion Week was held from Thursday – Saturday (15th – 17th October). There were so many beautiful outfits that I liked and I want to share some of these. Oh and please note that I have no idea about fashion terminology or rules so all the outfits I liked, I liked because I liked them. Gerrit?

The first on the list is this red beauty made by Charity Musowa. I remember her saying the material used in her outfits was handmade and I could see that in the texture.

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Next up is this cute little dress by Chizo (Chisoma Lombe). It’s really cute and I like the print. I especially like the huge hat. Oh and can you see the little purse thingy in her hand? Cute.

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Maybe I’m a historic romantic or I’ve just watched too many epic movies but I loved this next outfit. The designer’s name is Yvonne Katongo and I think she did a good job on this one.

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This dress by Chizo was so beautiful. It looked so soft and quite simple. I love black so anything in black goes. I would definitely wear this dress. Obviously not in the summer though.

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This one was also made by Chizo. I like the upturned high collar. It looks so regal.

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The next outfit I liked was this little piece of work by Yves Designs. What’s there to like? The little reed cups over the boobs. The skirt covered in dry leaves. The little reed umbrella.

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This outfit was by Charity Musowa. The material is handmade like the first red one. Among my favorite this is my favoritest (yeah, I just made up that word). I like the hat and the color. This dress like the red one is bio-degradable. I don’t know about you but I think there’s something sexy about wearing something that I know will rot in the next few months or years. Maybe that’s why Lady Gaga wore that meat outfit.

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Lastly, the next outfit is what happens when someone has zero cares left to give. I liked this outfit immediately I saw it. I know she’s been wrapped in a see through material but on a runway it made sense to me. I think the designer (Mu + Shannon) was like “What? People’s opinions? I’ve run out of cares to give!” and continued cutting up her material or whatever designers do. I can’t show you the back view of the dress though. Because I’m petty and I’m upset about the fact that this model’s bum does not have cellulite (How unfair is that?!!?).

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So that’s the roundup of my favorite outfits during the Zambia fashion Week 2015. Which ones did you like?

All photos in this post were taken by Fortress Media and you can see more photos of the Zambia fashion Week on their Facebook and Flickr page. Check them out.

Highlights from the Zambian Music Awards 2015

Last Saturday, the ZMAs were held. I got to watch them on location but they were also televised live. This year they were even being streamed online so everyone was included. The awards had great moments and some moments that made me ask the ground if it was possible to open up and swallow an entire human being. Here are some things that stood out for me, both good and bad.

The Stage

The stage was amazing. You could see that so much work had been put into the design and setup. Almost a dozen TVs were put up on that stage. I thought of carrying one home after the event but the thought slipped my mind (I should have set a reminder on my phone).

The Anthem.

He delivered the the national anthem coated with milk and honey.

He delivered the the national anthem coated with milk and honey.

Abel Chungu Musuka SANG the national anthem like it was some call from God or something. He took me to church and back. I found myself raising my hands and stuff. That has got to be the best version I’ve ever heard. The attire he had on kinda resonated with the song and reminded me so much of Kenneth Kaunda. Why did people pick out the safari suits and dump the wrap? It is way cooler if you ask me. I later asked him what he had under the wrap and he disclosed he was wearing jeans. If I wore it, I wouldn’t wear a single thing under that. I would let the Lord’s precious breeze pass through strong and free (pun intended).

Exile (Israel) and Nalu

Exile singing his heart out

Exile singing his heart out

So Exile is undoubtedly one of the best musicians and song writers in Zambia. And Nalu has an awesome voice. So when Exile started singing his medley of old songs, the crowd was filled with nostalgia. I like Exile’s songs and to hear some of them in a mash-up like that just made me go gooey inside. And then Nalu stepped onto the stage with her VOICE! We haven’t seen her in a long time. Family responsibilities took her away from the big stage but she came back to show everyone that her talent is still there y’all. She did her old hit “House,Money,Car” and made me remember the video of her in the pink thingy with slits. And the romance!!! The love between them was so visible you guys. Zambian people are not used to seeing PDA in a couple that has been married for a long time but they showed you! They were looking into each other’s eyes and holding hands. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for a kiss. It never came but what we got was enough.

The P-Jay Tribute

Tribute to P-Jay

Tribute to P-Jay

Tsean, Scarlet and Starn sang a medley of the P-Jay’s songs. It was beautiful. Tsean started off with my favorite P-Jay song “Piano”. Then Scarlet came in looking like a vision. I love her dress. She looked magnificent. Then Starn came and hyped it up. P-Jay might have died young but he definitely left his mark.

The P-Jay Speech

This boy needed to sit down so bad his mouth ran.

This boy needed to sit down so bad his mouth ran.

So the late P-Jay won the Best songwriter award. Exile (Israel) never stood a chance in that category. You don’t contest against a deceased person and think as if you’ll win. Zambians are superstitious like that. The dead can do no wrong to us. So P-Jay won the award and then his brother came to accept the award. Let’s pause for a while. The unspoken rule is that if you’re accepting an award on behalf of a deceased person, you identify yourself and your relation to the person and say some touching statement about the person. We all know that, right? This boy did not know anything about it. He goes on stage and starts talking about being the future that P-Jay always sang about. He did not bother to let us know how he was related to P-Jay. He rumbled on and on about the albums that were out and advertised himself with neither finesse nor shame! I sat there hoping that the saliva in his mouth would magically turn into glue so he could shut up but nothing happened. I almost stood up to shout “Boy, sit down!”. Then when his sister and B-flow had spoken, he came back to the mic to wish his mother a happy birthday. You should have said that the first time! This is what happens when an attention seeker is suddenly put on a big stage.

The Zamrock Legends

I love rock! It defined my teenage years. So when I saw those elderly men rocking away like their life depended on it, I LIVED! I rose up from my slumber and looked alive. OH. MY. WORD!!! Those men had more passion than I’ve ever seen. The lead singer was on fire y’all. The way he ran across the stage dancing like he’s convulsing. The way he moved from mic to mic and then just got both mics and screamed into them! Victor Kasoma, the lead guitarist, did not let the wheelchair take his joy! He played that guitar with such a look on his face that I kept on looking at him. Maureen Lilanda, you guys!! I love her!! She has so much energy on stage. She’s not just doing her job, she’s creating art every time she’s on stage.

Abel Chungu Musuka’s Speech

Abel Chungu Musuka was a big winner this year. He went home with 3 awards. The second time he went to receive an award he started SPEAKING! He talked about how people listen musicians and music shapes people’s lives so it is the responsibility of musicians to produce good and whole music. Then he went on to talk to the people

Music opens doors that even politicians can’t open. So I say to all those people out there who disrespect artists, you are disrespecting very influential people in this nation. So many times we are underpaid, undervalued, looked down upon but it is our music that taught you your Abcs, how to count from 1 to 10. It is our music that heals your marriages.It is our music that helps you go to sleep at night thinking about a better tomorrow.”

I was nodding my head so hard that it almost fell off. As someone married to a musician, I see that disrespect all too often. And to hear someone scold people on national Television, the level of agreement I had was too high. I nodded myself into next year.

Chef 187’s closing performance

So after winning the highest number awards and going on stage so many times, Chef 187 came on one last time-to close the show. 99 Jobs is my favourite song by him so I was excited. The band played it so well. The dancers were really hyped up. But my favorite part was towards the end when the beat changed to Dubstep. I was like Whaaaaat?! No they diin’t! There was beat-boxing and crazy stuff going on. I loved it. It was a great way to finish the show.

All in all, the show was well arranged. There were some performers that went off key and others that just didn’t have the oomph but generally it was good. See? Good shows can be held in Zambia, all you need is just a big time sponsor and organizers willing and dedicated to work really hard.

UNICEF Activate Talks Zambia

Last week I was invited for an event hosted by UNICEF Zambia in collaboration with Bongohive. I figured it would be quite serious and I wore my grown up clothes for it. It was far more organised than I thought it would be with registration forms, name tags and gift packs. And when I looked at the program, I saw the magic word (well, one of the magic words), Cocktail! This was proving to be a wise decision on my part. So I put my head high, walked in like a bowss and sat in the Media section. 

I wrote an article for Bongohive detailing the event. You can read all about the UNICEF Activate Talks Zambia on the Bongohive site. 

 

If you would like to find out more about Unicef or bongohive, visit their sites at http://www.unicef.org/zambia/ and http://bongohive.co.zm/ . And if you would like me to write about your event, email me at chipoautumn@gmail.com I just might wear my grown-up clothes. 

Meet The industry: Writers

Writers rarely get any recognition in Zambia. The poor reading culture of the people makes writing a very scary career path. So imagine my pleasant surprise when BongoHive announced that it would be hosting a “Meet the Industry” for writers. This was something I had always needed, to listen to people that are doing what they love to do despite the various limitations. They were called upon to discuss their inspirations, challenges and what they thought about the writing culture in Zambia. Continue reading

Startup Weekend Lusaka Pitch Night

I have always said that I don’t want to be employed for the rest of my life. I want to have a business that will enable me to retire at 35 and travel the world. I want to create something so much bigger than me that it outlives me and creates a legacy. I want something that will give me lots of money eventually. And that’s what start-ups do; they are an entrepreneur’s attempt at something greater than the norm. Last Sunday I attended the Startup Weekend Pitch night.  Continue reading

TEDx Lusaka

Independence Day has come and gone and it brought with it the usual debates of economic freedom and such. Such arguments bore me because that’s all they are. I had the opportunity to experience a new pleasure, the formal discussion of ideas. Eleanor Roosevelt said “Simple minds discuss people. Average minds discuss events. Great minds discuss ideas.” I attended TEDxLusaka which is an event at which ideas are shared. It was the first time I had ever attended anything of this nature and I was a bit apprehensive of how it would turn out. I was hoping I wouldn’t be bored or worse, completely out of place. I shouldn’t have worried because the crowd was sprinkled with a few familiar faces and the speakers were far from boring.

Continue reading