Ghanaians carry their ‘Friday wear’ flair to Halifax
Africans dress to portray their culture worldwide
December 9, 2022, 2:29 pm ASTLast Updated: December 11, 2022, 7:36 pm
Every Friday, some Africans in Halifax are spotted in the city dressed in their African prints beaming with smiles.
Edward Asante arrived from Ghana last year. He likes to wear a shirt sewn in Ghana as a way to express his connection to his home country.
“It’s nice for me to wear something that is like way different or that’s not westernized and so sometimes I wear it to work, sometimes I wear it to an interview or something of the sort just for people to know that I’m an African and I can come from somewhere different,” he said.
In 2004, the government of Ghana launched the National Friday Wear initiative as a way to promote the local textile industry. Since then, Ghanaians dress every Friday in locally made prints or clothing made by local artisans.
One fall Friday in Halifax, Asante was clad in an African print with colours depicting the flag of Ghana.
“It’s something that we have been doing since when I was in Ghana, so just translating that same experience back here,” he said.
Robert Afari is also an ardent observer of the “Friday wear” event in Halifax. He is also Ghanaian and has been in the city since 2019. The years absent from home have not clouded his love for African fabrics.
“I feel confidently different because it is not usual. And I usually wear them when going for functions … and the weather is good,” he said in a text.
He said people in Halifax ask many questions and “most people give positive feedback.”
Selasie Tagboto thinks it’s a good idea to promote culture. Originally from Ghana, Tagboto has been a fashion designer in Halifax since 2016, designing and sewing clothing with an African influence. She says Halifax is becoming more multicultural in its fashion sense.
“It is nice [there’s] a whole group of people here who I can introduce to my culture or who feel nostalgic about home, it’s nice to bring a little bit of that here,” she said.
Jesubusayo Gloria Adetunji is from Nigeria and wears African prints on Fridays too, including clothing she brought from Africa. She moved to Halifax last year and works as a clinical research assistant. She encourages Africans to be proud of their culture.
“I have been wearing African prints since I was child. This is something I love to do so much because this the only way to express my culture. I’m from an ethnic group in Nigeria called Yoruba and the Yoruba people adore their culture and heritage so much,” she said.
“Since I have been wearing this since I got to Halifax here, people have really loved it, they’ve given me beautiful comments about it. They loved the colours.”
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