Senegal fashion designer, Sarah Diouf captured the attention of the designers during the AFI Masterclass series when she shared on cultural appropriation and intellectual property protection.
Sarah own a successful clothing label called Tongoro. The label provide clothing that offer style conscious consumers quality, variety and convenience, at affordable prices.
Engaging with upcoming designers at the Masterclass which was hosted at the Ritz hotel in Cape Town, Sarah explained the difference in culture in most African countries. Sarah has a diverse upbringing as her father is Senegalese and Congolese, her mother is from the Central African Republic (CAR), and she was born in Paris but raised in Abidjan. She said all these different cultural influences shaped her and her work.
“I think Western Africa and South Africa are very different. We have from Senegal, Ivory Coast, and Ghana to Guinea, a kind of a common culture that we share and here I’m confronted with another culture so it’s very interesting but at a same time I feel like there is the curiosity from the people and the hunger to connect with others,” Sarah said.
Sarah said the fact that we are all African connects us and that is why we have that curiosity about each other’s way of living.
“When I meet people here, they are willing to learn about others. They always ask how it is over there, because at the end of the day we are one, we are all the same. We are brothers and sisters. It is nice to see we are all building this community through creativity, design and fashion,” she said.
Sarah was impressed about the designers that filled the room for Masterclass and was amazed by their spirit and eagerness to grow in the fashion industry.
“It is moving for me because, I feel like we are witnessing something new and I’m very proud to be part of it. The respond that I’m getting is very positive and I hope it will continue to be that way.
“The young designers were very receptive of my message. I really hope it grows them in one way or another,” she added.