Celebrating the African child in fashion and music

Sunday June 19 2022
Khadija and kids
By Lucy Tomeka

On June 16, 1976, in Soweto, South Africa, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young students were shot, the most famous of which being Hector Pieterson.

Ever since, every year on June 16, we commemorate the African Child Day in different ways to raise awareness on the need for better education.

Recently, Khadiha Mwanamboka, a well-known and respected designer put together her annual show, Watoto Wetu with the hashtags #ThePrideOfTanzania #TheFaithOfAfrica. With support from the likes of Hugu Domingo, African Star Tanzania , Nestle - Nido , Burque and Footsteps; different designers came together to dress the young models in colourful and fun designs.

“It’s tough organizing a children’s fashion show, working with kids as my models it’s stressful but I love and enjoy it and it’s a blessing working with 4-years-old models,”Khadija Mwanamboka shared with Young Citizen.

“My fashion design collection concept this time has incorporated children’s games we played when we were young. I have translated the playful games into wearable fashion so the children of today may see the fun in playing such games for their mental and physical health,” she explained of her collection during the show.

However, models weren’t the only talent present. Singer Rukaiya Mgaya, who is better known as Anaiya on stage, came through with beautiful original titled ‘Jinsia’ after she opened the show with the national anthem.

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The shy 12-year-old has been singing and writing music since the age of five with help and support from both her parents. “Jinsia was written to inspire people to end child and domestic violence as well as encourage education,” she said.

“I first and foremost focus on my school work but during the holidays, I dedicate my time to making music and I am working to making my first album,” she added.

Her supportive mom added: “She has already composed a number of songs that she hopes would be inspirational to her peers.”

Anaiya encourages her peers to put education first and hopes that she can help them see the importance of it through her art.