Early this week Minister of Youth Sport and Culture Thapelo Olopeng met with fashion designers in Gaborone in an effort to learn how government through his Ministry can reach out to this fledgling sector and stimulate growth.This initiative is most welcome indeed.
From last week’s meeting, one of the by-products has been the birth of the inaugural Botswana Fashion Week, a concept owned and run by a group of local youths who have formed an association whose mandate includes coordinating the fashion week concept.Indeed a progressive economy like Botswana deserves to have its own kind of fashion week, not just for poverty eradication purposes, but also for showcasing its success.While some may be quick to dismiss the idea of a fashion week for the local industry, in reality what this concept can achieve is just beyond anybody’s imagination.
According to the organisers of this event, they will be conducting auditions around the country in preparations for the grand finale, the fashion week to be held sometime this year as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations. While this move is most welcome and deserves applause, Olopeng and his officials need to appreciate that coordinating and putting together a successful fashion event can be monstrously costly, running into millions, while profits may not always be predictable immediately. Supporting this event with several millions of Pula from time to time will be necessary for its continued success for it has the potential to stimulate economic activities among the designers as well as related industries.
It’d be ideal to see the likes of Btv coming aboard not just to air the event, but also buying the rights to the event and paying the organisers quite handsomely for such a unique and rare programme that would showcase the pride, the glamour, and the artistic aspiration of a nation.