Home » From Wildlife to Wardrobes, See Tanzania’s Plan to Turn a Profit on Maasai Apparel
Africa News Tanzania

From Wildlife to Wardrobes, See Tanzania’s Plan to Turn a Profit on Maasai Apparel

Tanzania’s government intends to promote fashion as a high-potential product for its tourism industry. This will be part of an effort to diversify the country’s tourist attractions, which are now mostly concentrated on wildlife.

The deputy minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mary Masanja, stated, “We want to see cultural tourism climbing higher. It can turn around our tourism.”

She emphasized Maasai ethnic wear as something that should be conserved and promoted for future generations as well as for tourists. The deputy minister made the comments while attending the Maasai Fashion Night at the Gran Melia Arusha. Ms. Masanja, who was dressed in Maasai women’s costume and joined the Maasai traditional dance, was adamant about the need for cultural tourism.

“The government will fully support such initiatives. We should position cultural tourism as top of our priorities,” she explained. The Maasai Fashion Night, which drew a large number of ethnic group members dressed in embellished apparel, is a forerunner to the Maasai Festival, which will be held in Arusha in October this year.

The Festival will be organized by Wonderland Travel of Dar es Salaam, whose CEO and creator Saidi Rukemo stated, “Culture should complement wildlife in Tanzania’s tourism landscape. Today we are celebrating Maasai fashion. Next time, it should be any of our 120 tribes”.

He said that if they are not kept or passed down from one generation to the next, Tanzanian cultural artifacts like music, clothing, and artifacts may be lost. An exhibition of embellished Maasai cultural artifacts, including headdresses, necklaces, earrings, and ankle bracelets, took center stage at the fashion show.

Some supporters of the campaign traveled to the vibrant celebration from as far away as Houston, Texas in the United States of America (USA).

Recently, after drawing an extraordinary number of tourists, Tanzania was ranked second in Africa for tourism performance, second only to Ethiopia, according to a report seen in The Citizen, a Tanzanian news publication. More than 400,000 visitors were recorded between January and March of this year compared to 250,000 in the first quarter of 2022.

Source : Business Insider