Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe's UN fashion win 'a victory for all of Africa'

26 September 2017 - 08:00
By Kyle Zeeman
Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe was the recipient of the inaugural Franca Sozzani Award for her work in fashion.
Image: Supplied Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe was the recipient of the inaugural Franca Sozzani Award for her work in fashion.

Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe flew the South African flag high when she was honoured with the inaugural Franca Sozzani Award at the United Nations in New York for her work in promoting African Fashion, and empowering disadvantaged women across the globe.

The philanthropist who is the founder and CEO of empowerment organisation, African Fashion International (AFI) was recognised for efforts by philanthropic body Fashion 4 Development. 

Speaking to TshisaLIVE from New York after accepting her award, Dr Precious said it was "an absolute honour" to represent the African continent and believed it was confirmation that African fashion was "on the right track".

"I am humbled by the award and accept it on behalf of everyone who has worked so hard on the continent to push the ideals of equality and empowerment. In my culture, we say ‘if you want to go fast you walk alone, but if you want to go far, you walk with others.’ It is a victory for all of Africa. We (AFI) create platforms to develop globally recognised African design talent and this award is confirmation that, as a continent, we are on the right track," she said.

Ten African designers including SA's David Tlale, Klûk CGDT, Thula Sindi, Marianne Fassler, MaXhosa by Laduma, Stefania Morland, Gavin Rajah, and  Tuelo Nguyuza were selected to showcase their work at the awards. 

She said the award represented another step in Africa's journey to make an impact on global fashion and was grateful for the support she had received in her goal to help her make a difference.

"Even as a young girl in Soweto, I was aware of the need to make a change to my community. I have received support from people around the world in trying to make that happen. There is a beauty in seeing humanity come together and work for the greater good. I am grateful to have received this award but I am just one person of many trying to make a difference," she said.

Dr Precious believed that African fashion would continue to grow in both strength and international demand.

"We need to be proud of our work and never compromise our quality of designs because it is what makes us stand out and strong. People admire us and want our designs because we are unique and we cannot lose that," she added.