Through fashion, a designer of Rwandan origin defends African unity

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Rwandan-born fashion designer and visual artist Eli Gold left home at the age of 13 as his country was ravaged by civil war and genocide, a journey that took him through several African states .

Gold has lived among others in Tanzania, Burundi and Malawi after leaving Rwanda, before arriving in South Africa, where he is based.

Now 30, Gold expresses his love for the continent through art and fashion.

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“Living in these places I was able to understand what Africa is and I was able to meet different cultures… the inspiration I use in my creativity all come from different African cultures,” said Gold.

“I come from a nation that was shattered and now we are mending and reuniting better than ever,” said the Rwandan-born fashion designer. (Photo: Reuters)

His company, Masa Mara, unveiled its latest fashion lines at an event in Johannesburg on Tuesday to celebrate Africa Day, which commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity.

The runway models showcased her collection of colorful African prints titled ‘Migration Is Beautiful, Destroy All Borders’, which is a call to embrace migration and, like much of Gold’s work, is inspired by her own experiences. .

“I wanted to show that if we come together and understand and embrace each other, we can have a beautiful united Africa,” he said of his work. “I always say that if the clothes can match and show harmony and togetherness, we the people can too.”

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Gold is also known as Nyambo MasaMara. Nyambo, which means “a Rwandan cow with long horns,” is a name he took after styling his hair in the shape of bull horns.

Gold, 30, expresses his love for the continent through art and fashion. (Photo: Reuters)

His other projects include Across borders, a choreographed show where a spirit travels through space and time to an Africa where borders and limits of creativity do not exist. His Gift of life The exhibition also combines visual art and design with movement.

“I come from a nation that was shattered and now we are mending and reuniting better than ever,” Gold said.

“When I left (Rwanda) it was a country that I was not proud to be a part of,” Gold said. “But when I went back (in 2017), it really made me proud to be Rwandan.

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