New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Diamonds, Fashion Designs Unite Against Gender-Based Violence

Windhoek — Glamour's Fashion and Diamond Show was the theme of the fashion show at the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN) on Thursday combining fashion glamour and diamond to shine in the course again gender-based violence.

Three designers, Hem Matsi fo Hem Collection fame, Rauna Namuhuya from The Ensembles Collection and the Rachel Creations presented their designs pairing three designers with different styles to highlight the influence that music has on fashion.

All the models wore big blonde wigs, which is always good. But the designs were so hot adding more glamour than it was meant to be. From short "Mad-Men" skirts to fetish costumes, the fashion show truly had some classy designs.

The night was filled with entertainment by Namibian artists such as D-Naff, Sally and Smokie , making sure everyone had a good dose of Gospel, Afro-pop and Kwaito.

The show was not without a more deeprooted purpose than fashion itself. Violence against women and girls has become pervasive, and one of the most disturbing aspects in the Namibian society.

Having been a victim of rape herself, the outspoken local fashion designer, Hambeleleni Matsi, popularly known as Hem, of Hemline Fashions, thus started to deeply delve into gender violence.

Hem recently attended a conference on the use of arts to raise awareness on gender based violence, which was presented by Commission of Status of Women (CSW) in New York. Hem is Namibia's representative to the United Nations Creative Artist Advisory Council.

She also represented Namibia at the Africa Unite Mount Kilimanjaro climb, where 36 African countries climb the mountain to raise awareness on GBV.

It is with this background that she is organising a Brandberg climb from April 18- 21as part of the initiative to raise awareness, and also advocate for behaviour change.

"I feel it is important to have awareness campaigns but now is the time that we find solutions to ending GBV, it is happening so often that we need to stop it and we need to find solutions to eliminate GBV," says Hem.

The fashion show was thus held to raise funds for the climb, Hem is hosting a fashion show today, with fellow designers, Ruusa Namuhuya, Rachel creations and Diamond jewellery from Namibia Diamond Trading Company.

Other for its fashion accolade, he fashion show was a celebration of women with diamonds as her collection is inspired by diamonds.

"We want violence against women to stop so we can all to shine like diamonds," Hem said before the show.

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