The African culture is expressed through many art forms.
Different dance moves convey different messages. The sound from the beating of the drum is used to send messages as well.
Similarly, what we wear and when we wear them are all significant to how we relate with one another.
Somehow, the young Ghanaian took African prints for granted.
Yes, we loved to wear them as our answer to contemporary fashion, however, few if any, bothered to understand the meanings behind the symbols inscribed in the prints.
Now, at least, there is a cult following on social media – a group of young Ghanaians who are eager to know the name of the print and the meaning behind it.
All of that started when Ernest Aburam, known on Twitter as ChristDeKing or El Dad started educating Ghanaians on the name of the various African Prints and their meanings. He sometimes adds the history behind it and when and where to wear it.
What really brought a lot of public attention to the amazing work Ernest was doing was when he started educating people about President Akufo Addo’s choice of African Print.
Though he used to do this before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was during this time that a lot more people really started showing interest in what he was doing.
Especially when the meaning of the President’s choice of African Print, goes ahead to reinforce the idea or the message in the President’s Covid-19 update address. Sometimes, the message is subtle sometimes, not so much.
“The President’s choice of fabrics do influence many to wear African prints,” Ernest told Kuulpeeps.com in an interview.
The President is one of the most famous people in the country, he attracts attention. Who better to market African Prints than one of the most well-known faces in the country?
“My tweets on the fabrics he wore when addressing the nation amid this pandemic has made a huge impact,” Ernest added.
A lot of people are patronizing fabrics because they love the name and story behind what they are wearing.Ernest Aburam
However, even that amazing thing that Ernest was doing was viewed through the political lens, just as many other things we do in Ghana.
“Many saw this as a political gimmick which is sad because I don’t do politics,” he said.
Though he sometimes receives negative political comments from certain people on Twitter, Ernest says he is not going to give up. “I look up to the positive ones who always encourage me to do more,” he explained.
One other person who pushes him to continue educating people about African Print is the person who first inspired his love of the prints – his mother.
Contrary to belief, Ernest did not gain this worth of knowledge about African Prints from a fashion school. He revealed that he has never attended fashion school. He actually studied Accounting at Valley View University.
It was his mother’s love of the prints that was passed down to him.
“I grew up with a mom who wore clothes made from African prints (Kaba and Sleet) to all occasions be it weddings, funeral, baby naming ceremony (Outdooring) and christening,” he explained.
Ernest believes it is time to formalize the study of African prints. Already, there a signs of that changing. Students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology wrote academic papers on the President and his choice of African Prints.
He has also helped a lot of students in some tertiary institutions solve questions (Assignments and projects) about the interpretation of the African Prints.
However, he wants it to go further than that. “I think the Ministry of Education must liaise with GES (Ghana Education Service) to inculcate African Prints as a subject or a topic under the art subjects that are being thought in our basic and secondary educational levels,” he said.
This has been the goal all along for Ernest, who just wanted to use the platform he has “to encourage the youth of today not to throw our culture into the dustbin because our culture is our heritage.”
“I wish African prints can be everyday corporate wear and not chose a particular day of wearing it,” he added.
That is why he has taken on an ambassadorial role for Rosefabrics. Rosefabrics is an African Print retailing outfit.
“I am a goal-oriented and committed young man ready to channel all my boundless energy into something worthwhile for humanity,” he told Kuulpeeps.com.
For now, that energy is going into promoting whats ours and educating all of us about it.
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