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My Magazine 2023/04
4 min
Author: yAwa ConAteh
Happy to be back here! It’s been a minute, beautiful people. Your fashion columnist is back on keys to give you information about what’s happening in the fashion scene on the continent, with the Gambia being the main focus.

The journey is real and it’s a rocky road, so it gets overwhelming when you have challenges while multitasking due to unforeseen occurrences and things that challenge you to STOP! So what comes to mind then is that is it really worth believing in your dreams because they are so huge or no, let's give up and take it easy? I will leave that here for another issue.

With that being said, I often ask myself what life is really without the challenges as they make us grow better and stronger to become greater at what we do. Naturally, strength has an appeal as perennial as it is ephemeral, yet its allure feels sky-high of late. Uncertainty is everywhere; economic, social, cultural, and political unease and personal trepidation linger in the mind.

I am and am hoping that you are also having a great start of the second quarter of the year already as am about to give you some insights of the recently concluded Togo Fashion Week aka FIMO228, that took place in February 2023, where yours truly covered the event live and direct just for you - so keep reading!

With some predictability, the old cliché that in times of strife, fashion should somehow be forgotten has crept back into the discourse. I couldn’t disagree more. Fashion must play its part whether you are here for the fantasy or inspiration, it is imperative that confidence and creativity remain a part of life. I say the time is right to make bolder choices to find fortitude in how we dress to lean into the freedom of self-expression that fashion affords us in defining our autonomy in the world.

Never underestimate the power of beauty and what beauty we have to behold on the runway at Fimo228. This was such a great show, wonderfully produced, and it was lovely to be shown there with such wonderful renowned designers, some of whom I have been following like Yemi Koshiba. It was the most organized show I have ever attended. Africa is definitely taking back its power in fashion!

Love and Light.

Photo credits to Sathia Pater

Designers pictured: YAWS Creations, Kwiyah, Hilario, Les Hommes des Fauvettes, Grace Wallace, and more.


yAwa ConAteh
Fashion Designer and Founder of Yawscreations
Yawa Conateh, fondly called “YAWS”, is a famous Gambian fashion designer. She was born and raised in the Gambia. Yawa Conateh is the founder of the YAWS brand; a name that resonates with Afro Ethnic Fashion & Design. The YAWS brand was born in 2007 and managed to become one of the most prominent household name in the fashion and design industry in the Gambia today. The brand combines both the traditional and contemporary styles inspired by the ancestral culture and traditions of Africa, with patterns capturing the African roots in each and every design and creation. As a pioneer, Yawa has revolutionized the Gambian fashion and design industry by breaking all the barriers to allow the industry to shine beyond her small West African nation. Today, the YAW’s brand is crossing borders and travelling far and beyond Africa to represent the revival of Afro Ethnic fashion, thus, leading the way for the new generation of Gambian fashion designers.

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