Fashion in Ghana and Gaetano marries the love of his life

By The Statesman

On Studio 53 Line-up for 02 August 2009, 6 PM
Ghana Fashion week
Anita and Studio 53 attended the Ghana Fashion Week, which was a great success. The fashion week featured fashion designers from Togo, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Cameroon and Nigeria. There were three separate fashion shows at various venues in Accra. The runway shows sparkled with style, elegance, and some eccentrics as world-class models from Exopa Model Agency showcased the amazing ready-to-wear couture from Ghanaian designers such as Ama-Nua Williams, Patrick of House Eccentric and Clara Lawson. According to Sima Ibrahim, CEO of Exopa Model Agency, the purpose of the Fashion Week was to bring talented African designers closer for exploration of ideas, and creating a network amongst African designers. There were no qualms from the organizers about the fact that they were aiming to make this event the most glamorous ever. And all the mechanisms necessary had been put in place to ensure it would live up to its billing. This was not only the place to be for fashionistas, but also all involved in the fashion industry across Africa, providing an opportunity for professionals to get together and learn from each other.

Gaetano's Wedding
Studio 53 was there to support Gaetano as he married the love of his life .This low key ceremony where Gaetano and Enid were to share their vows took place on a ranch near Lake Victoria. Weddings in Uganda are not like weddings in other countries. Everybody got dressed up for weddings, but it was not taken to another level. This was to be a very traditional affair, with lots of black and white in evidence. This colour scheme, seen not only in the décor in the wedding marquee and the jewellery of the guests, represents the core of the culture and the family's deep time-honoured attachment to their history. The traditional marriage ceremony in Buganda may have changed over the years, but it still remains a battle of wits and cultural tongue-twisting between representatives of the two sides who engage each other in century old norms and traditions. They took part in the elaborate and engaging ritual, called “Kwanjula”, which basically means that the bride to be has to introduce her future husband – that would be Gae – and all the people escorting him – to her family – was something that Gae was going to have to get exactly right! This was definitely kept him on his toes until the very last moment of the ceremony. Wonder if anybody had reminded Gae that if anything went wrong or was said badly, it may result in fines – or being sent away without the bride. This was definitely going to be a day to remember for a long time, not only for the two people at the heart of the ceremony, but for all who joined them in their day of happiness.

Chopper Pilot (SA)
On 11 January 2006, Refilwe Ledwaba's ambition to become a pilot was fulfilled when she was presented with her wings at the SAPS National Intervention Unit in Pretoria. Refilwe is a helicopter and fixed wing pilot who had been training privately before she applied to be recruited in the South African Police Service Air Wing in 2004. Studio 53 and Grace caught up with Refilwe to find out about her career and her life. But before getting into the sky Refilwe told us a bit about herself.  The 26-year old pilot originally hails from Tzaneen and is the fourth of seven children. Refilwe was always been an academic high flyer and attended Prestige High School in Hammanskraal before she zipped off to the University of Cape Town. At UCT she enrolled for a BSc, majoring in microbiology and biochemistry.  Refilwe took Grace for a ride in the sky .

Michael Jackson tribute
Some people are celebrated when they are still alive, while some are celebrated when they die. But this is a man whose music was celebrated while he was still alive and will still be celebrated in more years to come.  Studio 53 attended the tribute to the legendary Micheal Jackson, where many legends and media prodigies attending and gave their last words. The brilliance of Michael's songs will always stand in stark contrast to much modern pop, both creatively and intellectually. What will always make his music distinct, on the one gloved hand, is that he crossed the barriers between pop and rap, and on the other, moonwalked between R&B and mainstream. It didn't matter who was wrong or right, he just beat it! He will always be, Forever Michael.

Avanti Restaurant (Ethiopia)
Italian food is amongst the worlds richest and most varied cuisine, with dishes perfect for every occasion. Studio 53 and Thembi interviewed Ermias Bariagaba the owner about the inspirations that caused him to open this restaurant, we also talked to the Chef Daniel Amare who told us the inspirations that enables him to prepare such cuisine. This cuisine, which has evolved through centuries of political and social change – not to mention relocation to other countries – traces its roots back to 4BC. There's something to be said for finding antipasti rather than injera for a change. Despite the lack of culinary fanfare in Addis, Avante serves up delicious platters of pasta. It's true that Italian fare differs from region to region. Making ones own pasta is satisfying, and you can make it any shape you'd like with a bit of practice. Good thing all our presenters are dab hands in the kitchen.

Artist Elson Kambula  (Malawi)
Studio 53 and Fareed visited Elson Kambula in Malawi. As a business graduate from the university of Malawi, Elson had his first feel of an art brush at the age of 24.  What kept him glued to the canvas initially was not passion, but frustration. From Elson's frustration came a passion to help artists achieve their dreams, no matter what the art form. Elson believes in inspiring up and coming artists to be free and to just create. What Elson has managed to do is to wow not just art lovers with his creations. His magnetic personality is a hit with everybody he meets. Elson represents a new art culture which is taking off its mask of pluralism and eclecticism, one in which there's no uniform organising principle nor ideology. The perfect place to pick up an Elson Kamulu original is at La Galleria in Lilongwe's Old Town.

Tony Rich Project
Studio 53 and Ndaka interviewed Tony Rich whose Project blends soul, jazz and funk influences with insightful lyrics. Rich began his career as a songwriter and producer, writing for musicians such as Elton John, Boyz II Men, TLC and Johnny Gill, before scoring a Grammy in 1997 with the album 'Words' in the coveted best R&B album category. In his two exclusive performances in Johannesburg, he was happy to share the stage with SAMA winning local singer Thabo Mdluli, who has backed musicians such as Miriam Makeba, Abdullah Ibrahim, Danny K, Caiphus Semenya and the late TK. While he writes for others, Tony doesn't allow anyone else writer for him or even feature on his albums. And getting up close and personal, Tony said he was blown away by the reception he received. He'd always known that he had a considerable support base in South Africa, but when he got there he was greeted everywhere with warm smiles and genuine affection.