Events / Fashion Fix / London

Fashion Fix: Distinctively African; Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye and the Multi-Coloured Kente Coat


A sign of Pride: Auntie Naana and her multi-coloured kente coat

During the week I blogged about the fashion (and moral) faux-pas made by fashion editor, Diane Pernet, for wearing a Gorilla pelt coat at Paris Fashion week!

If designers want something distinctively African to be visually evident in their designs, they ought to stop killing our animals and instead try making a fashion statement with traditional hand-woven African print cloth made in Ghana and its neighbouring West African countries; Kente.

As much as I think it’s important to expose the shams of famous people who make serious fashion faux pas’ (such as wearing a coat made from the fur of a gorilla), as it also creates grater awareness towards campaigns like animal rights group PETA, I also think it’s just as important to highlight the extraordinary  people in our local communities who don’t get the same mainstream media attention for their très belle fashion – and of course, outstanding contribution to the community through their campaigns.

Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye – Auntie Naana as she is less formally known, wore this beautiful evening dress coat made from authentic colourful Kente cloth that would put Joseph’s multi-coloured coat to shame! Seen here at the Educate a Girl, Educate a Society event earlier this week, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to get a picture of Auntie Naana – a fashionista in her right!

So here’s a visual message to the fashion world killing our African animals to make a fashion statement – take leaf out of Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye‘s fashion bible; Kente print says Africa more than the pelt print of an African animal!


Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye wraps up warm in this American designed coat made from traditional Ghanaian cloth; Kente

Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye is the Founder of Mission Dine Club (MDC), a charity that supports the elderly, vulnerable and isolated with home and hospital visits. She was made a Dame in recognition of her services to charity. MDC had a centre in Harlesden, North West London, where the elderly could come for a meal in a relaxed and friendly environment, and ease their isolation. Although the Centre has been demolished by Brent Council ostensibly to expand Newfield Primary School, Dame Betty continues to support the elderly. She provides a listening ear, shopping, and also cooks for the elderly.

Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye we salute you AND your impeccable fashion sense!

You can find out more about Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye and her campaigns by contacting supporting community organisation BTWSC by email

Do you know a inspirational community campaigner with a unique sense of style? Contact me! I’d love to highlight their cause AND their fashion sense!


Related posts:

The inBox: Educate a Girl, Educate a Society Event (The Educationally Frustrated Student)

Fashion Fix: Real fur faux pas in Paris – Fashion editor spotted in Gorilla Pelt (The Educationally Frustrated Student)

Wrap it up like SiStars… My journey with the wrap! (The Educationally Frustrated Student)


4 thoughts on “Fashion Fix: Distinctively African; Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye and the Multi-Coloured Kente Coat

  1. Nice article. If most Africans, particularly in the West, make an effort to add an African touch to their dressing, perhaps it will not just help our designers and dress makers, but also brighten up dull and confidence for more people to follow suit (pun intended)

  2. Well done Kaimo, I found the blog 
    about the Fashion Faux Pas interesting, 
    and it’s good you’ve contrasted it 
    with auntie Naana’s Kente jacket.

    The challenge is for Africans to 
    value what they have and to 
    highlight quality made in Africa 
    products. What would not
    be so helpful is be for our fabrics 
    to be turned into beautiful 
    clothes mainly by non Africans. 

    Talented Africans producing quality 
    African products should be supported.

    Thanks for your blog it’s interesting, 
    informative and well written.

    • You raise an interesting point that it’s not particularly helpful if non-Africans are using African prints and designs for mainstream fashion.There things we have to consider: Does it represent Africa well? Does it take away the credibility of capable African designers? Is it ethical – are African cloth-makers/designers getting a fair price for producing the material used by mainstream non-African designers?

      This is food for thought and certainly would make an interesting investigative piece about the Globalisation of African prints and designs in mainstream – particularly high-end Fashion.

      Thank you very much for your comment and words of encouragement!

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