Gramophone Magazine’s Classical Music Awards of 2014 were presented a couple of weeks ago in London. This most prestigious event honoring the best classical music recordings of the past year featured one great honoree introducing another one. Sir Neville Marriner, the Outstanding Acheivement award winner, who is well-known as the founding conductor and music director [...]
Peace through Fashion
â€œIn Africa, most of the times design and anything affiliated with sewing is a manâ€™s job, not a womanâ€™s job,â€ Momolu said.
Momolu was born in Liberia and came to the U.S. shortly before the civil war. She said Liberian women and young girls must now fend for themselves.
â€œLiberiaâ€™s just coming off a civil war,â€ Momolu said. â€œSo you have a lot of families who, the head of their family was murdered in the war.â€
Momolu, who was first runner-up on Project Runway Season Five, is working with Amani Liberia to bring African women hope.
â€œIn Amani Liberia, we have found that by educating one woman, youâ€™re educating a family and youâ€™re educating a village,â€ said Stephanie Myers of Amani Liberia.
According to their website, Amani Liberia is a part of Amani ya Juu, which means â€œhigher peaceâ€ in Swahili. Amani ya Juu teaches marginalized women in Africa to learn to sew and provide for themselves.
â€œOften weâ€™ve heard of young Liberian women who are finding themselves only able to turn to prostitution for food, to turn to prostitution for the grades, for their education,â€ Myers said. â€œSo [Amani Liberia is] very different, but itâ€™s saying, â€˜You have another choice.â€™â€
Momolu recently showcased her designs at the Columbus Athletic Club to benefit Amani Liberia.
â€œNow that the war is over, everybodyâ€™s kind of regrouping and coming back to life,â€ Momolu said. â€œThese women have to find a way to, you know, make money for their families.â€
Momolu is returning to Liberia for the first time in more than 20 years to display a 27-dress collection in May to open the Amani Liberia center.
â€œFor me to come in and say, â€˜Iâ€™m a designer, Iâ€™m Liberian, I left the year before the war started but I made it happen and I went through the same thing you went through,â€™â€ Momolu said. â€œâ€˜Iâ€™m doing it and Iâ€™m gonna teach you how to do it.â€™â€
Myers said Amani brings multiple tribes together in the same building.
â€œAmaniâ€™s mission really is to give women hope, to give them peace. They have to work together,â€ Myers said. â€œWe are in this together â€¦ it is peace. It is higher, higher peace.â€