A collection of artistic fashion items inspired by Queen Amina of Zazzau (Zaria) has been showcased at the Ozidu house gallery to celebrate the legacy of African Queens.
Art lovers gathered in Abuja to commemorate the legend of Queen Amina through music, art, and fashion.
Queen Amina of Zaria was the first woman to become the Sarauniya (queen) in a male-dominated society. She expanded the territory of the Hausa people of Northern Nigeria to its largest borders in history.
The collection was part of an ongoing series titled ‘African Queens’ which teaches the power of African women in the past centuries and how modern Africans can incorporate those values.
The line of simple and art-inscribed boubous, kimonos and jewelry were designed by Aziza Atta, founder of Ozoza Lifestyle, as part of efforts to promote conversation on the life of Queen Amina.
She said that women have to be involved in the development of society and Queen Amina was a prime example of the importance of women’s involvement.
“If you want to develop society, women have to be involved and the queen mother was key in this development process. African women had quite strong roles.
“It’s just that when the colonials came in, they just dealt with the male chiefs and right away, the power was diminished.
“The strong roles of women were relegated and the culture just went on. This collection has been inspired by African queens such as Queen Amina.
“The fashion comes in such that we have our pop up shops and then we have a lecture alongside. I wanted to marry various art forms to promote the African message,” she said.
Speaking earlier, the gallery owner and art collector, Hamza Atta said that the idea behind the Ozidu house gallery was to promote works of African artists to the audience they might lack access to.
He said that the focus on African Queens and Queen Amina in particular was to show the world and Africans the power women held in centuries past in efforts to bring that history to the present.
He said, “In whatever form the art is, it has to be ours and original. Know who you are and be proud of your own.
“The theme of today is Queen Amina, before colonialism, we had a social democracy and the women were the most powerful. They were the leaders and it was all over Africa.
“What happened and when did men start treating women like second class citizens? We are trying to show that women are equal partners in the society,” Atta said.
The event also featured a lecture by Aziza Atta and Mu’azu Maiwada, a lecturer in the department of English and Literary Studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Atta, who is also a corporate lawyer and Maiwada expanded on the legacy of Queen Amina and the importance of incorporating the lessons from her life in the lives of women today.
The event featured a male collection by designer, Bankole Thomas who noted the importance of preserving culture through clothes.