In the 1960s the Dashiki and every other traditional attire were largely abandoned by young Africans in the diaspora. Seen only as something the older immigrants would wear; the younger generation didn’t want anything to do with it. They overlooked their heritage, pushed it down because nobody wanted to be termed as “too tribal or too African”.
Then through 2012 to 2016, the Black Americans woke up. They became in touch with their roots, black, bold, woke and ready to represent. That’s when it happened, traditional attire made a bigger and better comeback. A new wave of representation driven largely by black celebrities like Drake, Wale, Rihanna, Zendaya, Solange Knowles and a whole lot of them, swept through the fashion industry. Most especially, these black public figures made a statement with Ankara:
1. Beyoncé Beyoncé especially is the personification of African excellence, strong, curvy and regal. Whether she is casually strolling down the streets, performing at the Grammy’s dressed as Oshun the Yoruba goddess of fertility and love or flaunting it in her music videos.
2. Michelle Obama Former First Lady of The United States Michelle Obama has been spotted on several occasions wearing African print.
3. Jidenna Nigerian born singer Jidenna constantly represents his country by proudly wearing African prints on many occasions and he looks dashing in it.
4. Lupita Nyong’o Kenyan born actress and Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o never fail to remind people where she is from, by always dazzling in Ankara. Almost every black celebrity is making a fashion statement with Dashiki and African cloth.
“We are African, we are here to represent, and we are no longer afraid of our heritage”
And with more black celebrities stepping out in traditional attires more Africans in Diaspora started to wear it. Designers became emboldened by their growing sense of style and made more Ankara style clothing for them to wear. From 2016 to now, they are still going strong with putting Africa on the map with a simple fashion decision and they are no longer ashamed or shy, they are simply basking in their African excellence with fashion and style.