Santa Anzo shows off Uganda’s beauty through fashion


The long-anticipated grand finale of the Uganda International Fashion week was precise and an international standard show.

With international fashion producer Jan Malan directing the show, it could have been in Milan or Paris, the way things moved along at the Kampala Serena hotel last weekend!

The designers who included the night’s hostess Santa Anzo of Arapapa, Abbas Kaijuka of Kia’s Divo Collections, Stella Atal, Fatuma Asha, Paula Butagira, South Africa’s Alvada Collections, Judith Artelier and Mmuso Maxwell, showcased to an excited crowd.

With everything from cool African fabrics to contemporary Western designs with an African spin, the runway was an explosion of colour and eccentrics.

Santa Anzo was happy with Uganda’s growing middle-class that actually cares about what it wears, by whom, and is willing to pay for it.

“Also, the growing youth population has helped a lot,” Anzo added.

The CEO Uganda Tourism Board, Lilly Ajarova, applauded Santa Anzo for putting up a great show and reminded the guests about Uganda’s beauty.

“Uganda is a special place; we want to share the beauty of this pearl with all people,” she said. “Fashion is more than promoting smartness and a positive image of one’s self; it is at the forefront of enabling society get a deeper awareness of itself and its role in contributing to national development and identity.”

The fashion

Because the event attracted international designers and game changers such as Malan, Anzo said the Ugandan designers responded by upping their game this year.

Abbas Kaijuka and his Kai’s Divo Collections brought his Afro-centric suits with kikoyi and other details, to create a unique, sharp look. 
Fatuma Asha, on the other hand, brought elegance and red-carpet glamour to the fashion week with her designs in soft, delicate fabrics and feminine allure.

Using chiffon, satin and lace a lot, Fatuma Asha, real name Fatuma Nakaziba, had patrons and the Uganda International Fashion Week eating out of her hand.

Santa, whose Arapapa Fashion House is more known for its elegant approach to African print designs, stepped out of the comfort zone to explore more textiles and prints.   

A single-arm kaftan with an asymmetric neckline and silver sequin belt by Arapapa left a strong impression long after the model had disappeared backstage. These designs flavoured by the touch of South Africa, helped the fashion week set itself apart and the bar quite high.