A win for one of our own is a win for African land. Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, from South Africa known for her philanthropy, was the recipient of the inaugural Franca Sozzani Award for her work in fashion.
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe was honoured with the4 Development inaugural Franca Sozzani Award at the United Nations in New York for her work in promoting African Fashion, and empowering disadvantaged women across the globe. She is the founder and CEO of African Fashion International (AFI).
This makes her the first-ever recipient of the award, which commemorates the late Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, who was committed to fashion’s role as an engine of transformation and economic development as well as creativity.
“I am humbled by the award and accept it on behalf of everyone who has worked so hard on the continent to push the ideals of equality and empowerment. In my culture, we say ‘if you want to go fast you walk alone, but if you want to go far, you walk with others.’ It is a victory for all of Africa. We (AFI) create platforms to develop globally recognised African design talent and this award is confirmation that, as a continent, we are on the right track.”
Said Dr Precious, Speaking to TshisaLIVE from New York after accepting her award.
Ten African designers were selected to showcase their work at the awards. I will be sampling each soon so you can get to know them more. The designers are: Stefania Morland, Gavin Rajah, Tuelo Nguyuza of TN Collectiv, Nigeria’s Ituen Basi, Mille Collines from Rwanda, David Tlale, Klûk CGDT, Thula Sindi, Marianne Fassler and MaXhosa by Laduma,
“There has been much discussion of cultural appropriation recently but I look across the city to the Museum of Modern Art where a new exhibition respecting the potential of global creative co-operations will open at the beginning of October. It features our own MaXhosa by Laduma as part of a bold re-examination of fashion and tradition that fills my heart with joy and hope for the future of creative fashion.
“It was extraordinary, while receiving the award, to feel as spiritually supported as ever by all my colleagues, clients, designers and fashion creatives across Africa,” she said.
While we don’t need “validation” from international platforms to measure our strides and achievements, we can’t deny that the award represents a step in Africa’s journey to make an impact on global fashion.
Dr Precious did not fail to mention one of the main reasons she does what she does best, while acknowledging that it takes a team and not just her giving 100%
“Even as a young girl in Soweto, I was aware of the need to make a change to my community. I have received support from people around the world in trying to make that happen. There is a beauty in seeing humanity come together and work for the greater good. I am grateful to have received this award but I am just one person of many trying to make a difference,” she said.
Even as we aim to gain international attention, I have always stated that we shouldn’t compromise our uniqueness and culture. It is what sets us apart from the rest. And she couldn’t have put it any better.
“We need to be proud of our work and never compromise our quality of designs because it is what makes us stand out and strong. People admire us and want our designs because we are unique and we cannot lose that.”
Dr. Precious Profile:
Businesswoman and philanthropist. Former Medical Doctor, Wits University. Chairman, African Fashion International. Co-Chair, The Motsepe Foundation; through the Foundation, works towards poverty alleviation and the empowerment of South African communities. Member: The Harvard Kennedy Women’s Leadership Board; The International Women Forum of South Africa. Interests: development of South African fashion designers; to contribute towards growth and consolidation of the fashion industry; to promote and develop young talent in South Africa; to promote and expose South African designers to the global fashion market.
Credit: we forum
Follow me: Instagram