fAsHioN: creative cultural content for a cool cause

Zarina was my housekeeper for 8 years here in Uganda.

She's a widowed mother of 3 who was very down on her luck when I met her. In the early days of Life in Africa I wrote many stories about Zarina, and the things I was learning about Uganda through the lens of her life. She also became involved with various Life in Africa activities over the years, especially whenever I was in the mood to experiment. She was one of the first borrowers in the two loan programs I developed. In 2005 I made her a "star" in a mini fashion show online.

I created Zarina's fashion show as an example of how we can think about combining popular cultural content (like African fashion) with promoting a cause (like donating used football clothes to The Kids League). What eventually became the Life in Africa fashion4football campaign included a community fashion event, an online fashion show that featured many Kids League parents, and the delivery of over 40 bales of used playclothes and soccer uniforms to the Kids League Foundation in Northern Uganda and groups in the region that they introduced us to.

While it was probably one of the most unusual campaigns I've ever sunk my creativity into, it was really a lot of fun. Zarina had a ball choosing clothes from her own wardrobe and changing her hairstyles. It was also a lovely way to collaborate informally with my good friend Trevor Dudley, Founder of the Kids League Foundation and another Ashoka Fellow.

I've spent the past few days digging Zarina's fashion show out of the LiA archives, and have dusted it off and updated it for your entertainment.

I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as we enjoyed creating it:

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yummy TrEaTs galore, and fits of global fAsHioN