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Promoting peace through fashion

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 14 – Fashion, music and art could be used as a tool to quell the trend of violence that has been seen in the country lately.

Festival for African Fashion and Arts (FAFA) spokesperson Patricia Amira says that engaging people in creative activities would keep their minds off unconstructive things.

“Those directly affected by the post election violence harbour ill feelings towards a number of people. What better way to keep their minds off those things than engaging them in creative exercises?” Ms Amira posed.

She has called on Kenyans to embrace dialogue as an avenue to air their grievances rather than resorting to violence.

“Instead of turning to chaos, we should learn how to communicate with one another. Once we can understand each other, people can come and work together,” she said.

Ms Amira was speaking during the unveiling of this year’s edition of the FAFA Fashion for Peace event.

Fashion for Peace held its maiden event last year following the post-election violence in Kenya, with the mandate of bringing together different cultures in order to celebrate Kenyan and African diversity, and focus on the talent that exists as well as to market Kenya as a culturally rich tourism destination.

This year’s event calls to action the unity of Africa as a continent and also promoting world peace.

“We would like to come forth as ambassadors for peace in letting the world know that there is unity in diversity and that we need to make every effort to ensure that we embrace each other’s differences,” says Ms Amira.

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“Kenya has immense cultural magnificence that should be harnessed in order to deviate from violence,” adds Ms Amira, who will be the MC at this year’s event.

FAFA Chairperson Ann McCreath urged the government and financial institutions to assist local designers establish their businesses.

“With help from the government the textile and fashion industry in Kenya, which has great potential, can create viable ventures for our youth especially in these trying economic times.”

The Festival is geared towards inspiring creativity in Kenya and shining a light on the rich culture of the African people.

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