Adama Amanda Ndiaye, daughter of a diplomat, was born in 1976 in what was still the Zaire of Mobutu Sese Seko. Now almost 39, this “Afropolitan” grew up in many countries, depending on where her father was posted as Senegal’s Ambassador under the governments of Léopold Sédar Senghor and Abdou Diouf. Since 2008, she has been living in Dakar, which she has adopted as her home between trips across the continent and the world. It was there that she launched her label, Adama Paris – the name by which she is now known – and put on the first Black Fashion Week in 2002 (enabling African creators to gain world exposure) and has subsequently organised others, also on an annual basis, in Bahia, Montréal, Prague and Paris. The experiment did not go quite as well in France as everywhere else, because of initial media accusations of creating a “communitarian” event before completely ignoring it. But this persistent and resolutely positive businesswoman continues to steam ahead. In April 2014, she used equity capital to launch Africa Fashion TV, which can be seen everywhere in Africa on Canal Sat. Her next big dream is to revive the textile industry in Senegal.
Interview with Sabine Cessou — What is your opinion on the fashionable talk in Europe about Africa’s “new development” or its “great awakening”? Adama Paris — It is good news because such talk will provide assistance and support for the already existing movement among young Africans, who believe in the “African dream” and in the continent’s potential, even if — and let’s not delude ourselves — we are...
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