Return Africa's Treasures - Heal Britain's Dark Colonial Past
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Members of the British Military looted sacred symbolic treasures from Ethiopia exactly 150 years ago. King Tewedros at the time fought so hard against this, that he committed suicide leaving a 7 year old son Prince Alemayehus to be stolen as well. They were ‘presented’ to Queen Victoria who is said to have been deeply saddened by it all. The boy later died of sorrow. His remains are still here! By the time the treasures were in the hands of British museums, powerful laws were made to stop board members gifting pieces to their network , locked the treasures into Britain. Other countries that have been able to restore valuable art like the victims of Nazi Germans. We can only do this by the power of public awareness and support. In 2008 I was crowned Miss Kenya UK and Miss East Africa UK. The same year Ethiopia's then president Girma Wolde-Giorgis wrote to the V&A, British Museum, British Library and Cambridge University seeking restitution of the Maqdala Treasure. Again, no success and the story has never gained momentum. However, the V&A want to 'shine a light' on this tragic story with an exhibition this April 2018, because finally they are 'open to the idea' of sending the treasures back to Ethiopia - but only on borrowed time due to the laws! This is extremely undermining and insulting to the Ethiopian community. As a young mum to a child who is the same age as Prince Alemayehus it’s a painful imagination. What excites me is Queen Tewabech's dress and jewellery and my connection to fashion. She was the second wife of King Tewedros who was a very spiritual woman. It got me thinking perhaps If we can create a fair exchange through Fashion - this soulless industry would be ethically rejuvenated and it might revive Britain’s declining retail market. After all, my people do spend the most on clothes. Africans can not continue to contribute so much to global, trillion dollar creative industries, while many still suffer. The world is embracing our visuals but not understanding the ancient symbolism, rituals and spiritual importance - everyone is feeling the manifestation of this environmentally and socially. It’s not just art - to us, it’s a vibration!
Let's change History...and Herstory!
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