Bamenda is not only home to an Anglophone minority in predominantly French-speaking Cameroon - it also bears the stigma of a socio-economically moribund city in the West African country that is little known except for its talented soccer team.
But that is about to change. Bamenda is set to come alive on December 27 with a glamorous fashion show organised by KiRette Couture, a classy traditional-chic fashion label that produces exquisite haute-couture handcrafted and limited edition pieces.
The Bamenda Rocks! Fashion Show is an annual event that will showcase the underexploited cultural richness of Bamenda and create a platform for Bamenda designers to explore markets across the country and internationally.
According to Kibonen Nfi, co-founder of KiRette Couture, the event is more than just a Fashion Show. Nfi and her partner, Anrette Ngafor conceived Bamenda Rocks! as a celebration of the massive cultural and intellectual wealth that Bamenda has exported to other parts of the country and the Diaspora.
“Bamenda produces luminaries in every industry in Cameroon, albeit often under-recognised. By organizing this show, KiRette Couture is leading a revolution that will not only exact the recognition we are due, but also encourage the talented people of Bamenda to come back home and invest in the development of their culture, their people, and their resources. That is the inspiration behind Bamenda Rocks!”
Sponsored by Africa’s largest mobile network, MTN, Bamenda Rocks! will feature other local and international designers as well as musicians from Bamenda. One of the local stars billed to perform is Sidney, 2008 winner of Africa Star (a regional Central African version of Idols). Joining the bill is Bamenda-born international success story, Wax aka Nde Ndifonka, a South African-based writer, singer and producer whose endorsements ironically include the City of Johannesburg. Cameroon’s hottest boy band, X Maleya will add some French flavour to the show, while sassy crooner Ga L will provide some eye and ear candy for the men.
KiRette Couture already has an international portfolio of charity activities, and will be donating some of the proceeds of this show to the Our Lady of Fatima Handicap Centre, Bambili.
Bamenda Rocks! Fashion Show takes place on Sunday 27 December 2009 at Ayaba Hotel from 5-9pm. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Check out some of their bold pieces from their new summer collection entitled MJ4KC