Last night, the FAB posse attended the press launch of the much talked about social enterprise iRock! UK, who announced their ”Tribes of Africa’ (TOA) fashion show which will be taking place in May this year.

 

During the event at London’s Grange Hotel near Tower Bridge, UK media and guests were treated to an eclectic performance of traditional  Zulu dancers to capture the mood of TOA, while several mentees of iRock’s programmes were dressed in vibrant diverse African attire to talk about the enterprise and answer questions.

 

Traditional Zulu dancers – photos by Bright Gurupira (Illustrations Photography)

The UK-based charitable social enterprise iRock! UK, which advocates the social empowerment of women, unveiled plans for the fundraising TOA fashion show, which will feature the works of eight top African designers in London.

The panel discussing and supporting iRock were “Secret Millionaire” Caroline Marsh, 2009 CNN Hero award winner Betty Makoni, and London 2012 mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita, who all gave TOA a resounding thumps up and pledged to support iRock’s programmes.

Siobhan Benita, Viola Ncube and Caroline Marsh - photo by Bright Gurupira (Illustrations Photography)

iRock! UK founder and director Viola Ncube said“We are calling our initiative ‘Fashion with a Mission’. We are aware of how fashion influences and inspires our society today and we know it can be instrumental to foster positive change for many young women whom we are working with and are in desperate need of opportunities to make something of their lives.

“Tribes of Africa fashion show will bring together an amazing set of unique designers and stylists with diverse creative visions to celebrate African culture and heritage. We are excited about this journey we are starting today and we look to make a positive impact to communities and individuals through our work from here on”, Viola added.

 

Siobhan Benita explained “As a devoted mother I spend a lot of time looking at ways see how children, especially girls can have better opportunities than I had growing up. We need to make more chance in improving the diversity situation and, in particular, gender equality, in the workplace and in society in general.“I am excited of what iRock! UK has started and urge the corporate world and individuals to support this worthy cause”.

iRock supporting panel and mentees of iRock’s programmes Photo: Simi Balogun for FAB

Press - photos by Bright Gurupira (Illustrations Photography)

A few mentees of the iRock programmes - photos by Bright Gurupira (Illustrations Photography)

Coming in the spring and coinciding with the Africa Day celebrations, the TOA fashion show is certain to showcase largely unexplored couture territory.


Among the top designers showcasing their work at the TOA debut event will be Nigeria’s Kemkem Studios, Chichia London from Tanzania, Ghanaian Beatrice K Newman, Tina Lobondi (Congo) and Stacey Kidega from Uganda.

At the core of iRock! UK’s aims are a dedication to see the healthy development of black women in the fields of business, art and education.

“I think this project is really relevant,” said Caroline. “Being in business I know that financial success needs to be sown back into communities. As things are, there is also no denying that there is a disparity to be addressed on young women’s issues whether they’re linked to education, business, careers and governance. iRock! UK and TOA will in a way kick-start that process,” she said.

FAB Team: Fab Editor Sinem Onabanjo, Viola Ncube and Fab Assistant Editor Cindy Hudson Photo: Simi Balogun for FAB

 

Ladies who Rock - photos by Bright Gurupira (Illustrations Photography)

FAB Assistant Editor Cindy and Viola Ncube sign the iRock banner - photos by Bright Gurupira (Illustrations Photography)

Caroline, Viola Ncube Siobhan Benita at the iRock official launch Photo:David Mbiyu/ Sixoone

Team FAB ladies showing off their goodie bags! Photo: David Mbiyu/Sixoone

 

The FABulous Cindy caught up with iRock!UK Viola Ncube after the event to discuss the vision of iRock and ‘Tribes of Africa’ fashion show.


The evening ended with guests walking away with special gift packs, packaged in African material containing a variety of African delicacies, courtesy of Savanah South African Foods. Yeyy!

 

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