Local resident combines fashion and culture

Apr. 30—LIMA — Creativity can be expressed in various ways from writing to abstract art. One resident expresses creativity through fashion. Bola Awe moved to the United States from Nigeria more than 27 years ago. Awe is a nurse who is married and has four children; she loves living in Lima.

In 2000, Awe had an American wedding and a traditional wedding in Nigeria. At their Nigerian wedding, relatives gave the couple monetary gifts. Awe was unable to bring the money to America, so she used it to purchase African garments. After coming back to America, she sold all she had and began to purchase more clothes for others interested in the designs.

"I love fashion and with my culture, it is easier for me to blend it," Bola Awe said. "African fashion is so versatile. You can dress it up and dress it down. Some people think about African fashion and think of daishikis. I love the heritage and culture that we incorporate into our fashion. Diversity is important to us."

Awe's clients choose their pattern and fabric, then she sends the design to West Africa. Awe also said she has helped community members with their attire for prom dresses and bridal gowns.

Awe said the majority of African fashion has evolved but it does include the same patterns.

"When you see the texture and the material it is similar to what our parents wore but the way it is styled now is quite different," Awe said. "I just love it because you want to pass it to the next generation so they do not forget who they are — I have three girls and one boy. Every year we take one big vacation. We took them to Africa three years ago and now they do not want to go anywhere else."

The Awesome African Fashion LLC will soon host its second annual African fashion show. The event will include various vendors and food trucks. The doors will open at 5 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 at the Lima Veterans Memorial Civic Center, 7 Town Square. The tickets are $20 for anyone 13 or older. A table of eight is $150.

For more information call 567-204-0316 or jenniferdkidd@gmail.com. Visit https://bit.ly/3JFoXNl to purchase a ticket.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.