Final Lappa Fashion Competition: What a fascinating stage!

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Saturday evening (26 April), Sierra Leone’s 53rd Independence Anniversary eve, was an exciting moment as we held the lappa fashion show, also the last day of the International Trade Fair, at the National Stadium in Freetown. Each contestant started convincing us with their creative fashion styles – there was so much talent it was hard to pick a winner! It was not until when Adama Conteh (pictured left) was called to make her own presentation. You can’t believe it! The whole show was stolen by Adama with her amazing display of traditional fashion styles she created.

“Wow, I never imagined we had such great talents in Sierra Leone” someone exclaimed from among the audience.

Our lappa fashion show became even bigger as more people who had gone for the trade fair got attracted by our show.

The idea of lappa competition started with engaging the public to develop visual ideas representing hand washing messages. The strongest messages which won the first competition were designed on lappa (cotton material) to be worn by people thereby carrying the message of proper hand washing across Sierra Leone. The final stage of the completion was lappa fashion in which we engaged the public again to design lappa into different fashionable wears, such as blouse, hand bags, hat, belt, and bracelet. The overall objective is to help raise awareness on the prevention of diseases such as diarrhea and cholera that are often caused by lack of hand washing.

According to the World Health Organization, diarrhea is the second leading cause of deaths in children under age five worldwide, killing 1.8 million children every year and experts say half of these deaths could be prevented if people washed their hands properly with soap and clean water. We hope our messages will urge people's interest to make proper hand washing a habit to reduce the number of deaths caused by cholera and diarrhea.

Always remember to wash your hands with soap and water at critical periods to save life!