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African Khanga Fashion Show 2009 Begins Today in Minnesota

African Khanga Fashion Show 2009 Begins Today in Minnesota

(Jul 3, 2009) By: Julia Opoti
St.Paul/Minneapolis, MN—July 3, 2009-- Funkhouse Entertainment has created a fabulous showcase of African-themed fashion by local and international designers in elevating the African experience in Minnesota.  

The show aimed at African immigrants and Minnesotans will showcase designs on African-themed colors and the khanga cloth. On the night of July 3rd (8pm to 11pm) the ExtraVaaKhanga Fashion Show will seduce all your senses and promises to deliver on great designs from urban wear to couture, innovative live performances as well as contemporary ethnic music mixes. The event will be held at Trocaderos in downtown Minneapolis, 107 Third Avenue North. Tickets are $15.00 for general admission, $25.00 for standing VIP and $40 for VIP seats by the runway. 

The khanga has a long history on the coast of East Africa and was inspired by handkerchiefs 
 "lenço" used by Portuguese traders. Named after the bright colored guinea hen, the khanga is a vibrant-colored, light-weight cotton cloth worn as a wraparound skirt, shirt, and headwrap by both women and men in the East Africa and the greater Central African region. 

Generally, the cloth is 5ft by 3ft and looks like a large handkerchief or shawl. However, contemporary designers have used the khanga to make everything from shirts, to dresses, skirts and upholstery. 

The khanga is particularly unique as it is used to pass on messages by the coastal peoples of East Africa. Each khanga has a methali (a Swahili proverb) that goes round the bottom of the cloth, for instance, a Swahili saying "neno njema halikosi kujibiwa " (literally means: a good word will get a positive response) In this way the khanga is a way for women to boldly express their individuality-- from color to style to designs; each unique as each of this year's designers.

African design is the next frontier in the fashion industry. It is not just about African-inspired patterns and motifs, but a new fashion consciousness infusing culture and message with the earthy textures of Africa. The ExtraVaaKhanga runway show is based on the success of the first African Show Collective, 2009 catwalk show at the New York Fashion Week in February featuring international African designers. 

ExtraVaaKhanga promises to offer an African Minnesota runway show that will feature: Bongo Republic (Missouri| Tanzania), Lalesso (South Africa| Kenya), Bothdol Fashion (Minnesota| Sudan), Utamaduni Wear (Kenya), and Modahnik (Illinois| the Republic of Congo).  ExtraVaaKhanga will bring to the Minnesota fashion stage an opportunity to explore a new world. 

Editor’s Note: If you'd like more information on this event, or to speak to one of the designers please contact Nekessa at Or, call Tel: 612 432 9084…Email: Please visit for detailed profiles on the designers and a schedule of events.




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