Zanzibar Fashion Festival combines culture, arts and style



Zanzibar marked the end of 2021 with a bigger and better fashion week that highlighted emerging trends inspired by the culture of the island.

The Runway Bay held its second Zanzibar International Fashion Festival from December 26-29, despite news of a new variant of the Covid-19 virus.

The fashion party was part of Runway Bay Fashion Week and as Irene Isaya from Dar es Salaam described it, “It was different, good and inclusive, having models of all ages on the runway.”

The festival featured runways in several locations around Stone Town, including a large-scale indoor and outdoor fashion show in the Old Fort and at the Forodhani outdoor food court.

The sound of the receding sea provided a unique backdrop and the theme of “Utamaduni sio ushamba” (culture is not backward) celebrated and embraced different communities and the music and arts of the Spice Island .

The four days and nights of the festival were not lacking in style and entertainment. They were honored by 12 renowned fashion designers, local and from Botswana, Eswatini, USA and UK.


Up-and-coming designers from Zanzibar showcased designs made with kanga and other African materials to promote the island’s culture to the tourism industry, on which much of the economy depends.

Waiz Shelukindo, founder of the Runway Bay Fashion Week Festival, said the festival aims to advance artistic dialogue between African art, dance, music, culture and creation and to build bridges between disciplines.

“Creators often owe a lot to those who, albeit in the shadows, support them, such as hairdressers, makeup artists and stylists,” he said.


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