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Fashion show, display of artefacts add colour to Tanzania National Day celebration

Fashion show, display of artefacts add 
colour to Tanzania National Day celebration

The celebration of Tanzania’s 55th National Day recently, came as an opportunity for non-Tanzanians in Qatar to know the rich cultural heritage of the country through various cultural displays and performances on the occasion.
The cultural show included typical Tanzanian dances which showcased the richness of Tanzanian cultural traditions to a global audience.
This was followed by the display of different kinds of clothing, especially those made from the popular ‘kitenge’, a craze among the Tanzanians. Models, young and children, sashayed up and down the ramp showcasing ethnic clothes and designs. Kitenge, also known as chitenge, is a fabric popular in the East, West and Central Africa which is similar to ‘sarong’. These are colourful pieces of fabric which are common in the coastal areas of Tanzania and Kenya and they often have a Swahili saying written on them. The creations represented the evolution of fashion from Maasai, going all the way to modern dressing. The designs were done by Duuma’s African Market.
In addition, a Tanzanian dressed himself like a Maasai to showcase the Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting northern, central and southern Kenya, besides northern Tanzania. Maasai shuka and accessories adorned him.
There were other things on display: a wide variety of items depicting the Tanzanian culture such as sandals, woven baskets, paintings, carvings, among others.
The event was held to celebrate the anniversary of the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar which came about on April 26, 1964, the day when the country was officially rechristened Tanzania. This was the second Tanzania National Day celebration organised by the embassy since its opening in 2017.
Farid Abdalla Saif who sported Maasai regalia said, “I am here to support my country. I feel honoured to dress like a typical Maasai which is one of the ethnic groups of Tanzania. This is an important occasion for my country.”
He said that this was the second time he was dressed in Maasai regalia to showcase the culture of Tanzania.
The dancers group that performed is known as Asili Haipotei.
They presented ‘msewe’ from the islands of Unguja and Pemba. “That’s where the dance originated. We chose the song as it sings of our history and culture on a day when we are celebrating our national day. We have diverse cultures in Tanzania such as Msewe and Maasai.”
He said this performance was common on different occasions in the olden days. “Since we are far from home, we are showcasing what was done in earlier times in our country. This is a platform to showcase our culture to other nationalities in Qatar. These are our traditions” he added.
The performers were happy that now there was a Tanzanian embassy in Doha which they had clamoured for, for many years.
Fatma Hassan who was also the mcee at the event said, “We focused on the Tanzanian culture. We are here to celebrate the 55th anniversary of unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. We are very proud that it has been 55 years since the union and we hope that it continues to prosper.”
Dee Daniel, who is the brand ambassador of Duuma’s African Market said, “What I like about Africans is the culture, colour and music. It is like the only culture, I feel, in the world that anybody from anywhere in the world can enjoy it. It is so vibrant.”
She said that as one looks at the colours, one feels vibrant.
Even though she is not African, she is the brand ambassador of Duuma’s African Market. “I represent their clothing to the world. I wear Duuma’s fashion wear wherever I go. I wear dashikis, custom-made clothes from their fabrics, jewellery and carry handbags, among others.”