Durban, South Africa: Award-winning Ugandan designer Santa Anzo was a big hit at the fashion extravaganza, the Africa Fashion Exchange (AFX), in Durban, South Africa held over the weekend.

The KwaZulu-Natal Fashion Council, which hosted the AFX 2018, said it was honoured to host Santa uAnzo and several top designers, including Deon Angelo Mathias from Namibia, and several local, and national fashion experts.

“It is truly an honour to have had Ms Anzo among us who not only contributed her fashion line to our shows, but also mentored young people during the workshops. International fashion designers also give confidence to our emerging designers,” Xolani Zulu, project manager of AFX.

“We are looking forward to a partnership between South African and Ugandan designers for both AFX and the Uganda Fashion Week which will take place next year,” Zulu said.

Anzo, the Chief Fashion Designer and Managing Director of the famed label, ARAPAPA by Santa Anzo had been invited to the annual three-day event which had the backing of the regional and national government.

AFX which took over the city, showcased the spirit of African fashion and creativity to the world, featuring emerging, emerged and established labels and their designers from all over the KwaZulu-Natal province as well as from around South Africa.

Organizers were particularly proud to tell their guests and audiences that there was also an international involvement in the three-day event and the appearance of the famous ARAPAPA by Santa Anzo, who has been 17 years in the business, added a continental and global dimension to the proceedings.

And when Santa’s vibrant and head-turning creations took to the ramp on the first night, they caused a sensation. Her couture pieces are described as unique, timeless, regal and sophisticated silhouettes.

A royal blue dress with a giant white rose head-dress was particularly impressive and there were plenty of oohs and aahs-and camera clicking-from the appreciative audience. The rest of her collection was equally impressive and Santa received thunderous applause when she made her own appearance at the end of her show. The overwhelmed Ugandan bowed in total awe of her enthusiastic cheering audience.

AFX also held a dozen informative knowledge-sharing sessions and Santa was a panellist in one of the sessions about “African luxury brands”.

When the audience was asked if South Africa had a fashion identify, she was the first to stress that the country did indeed have a “huge identity and it is up to you to push it to the world. South African cultural fashion inspired the world’s current most popular movie, Black Panther”.

She told the audience that she was hoping to encourage the KZN Fashion Council to visit Uganda and form a partnership with the Uganda fashion industry that she has helped create and as well her government.


Anzo said: “Fashion is a multi-billion dollar industry that can absorb Africa’s unemployed, especially the youth. We must engage governments across Africa to wake-up and tap into a sector that France, Italy, USA, and India and now China are thriving on”.

Anzo is well placed to facilitate such an arrangement as not only does her work promote Uganda’s cultural heritage by mirroring the traditional styles of different tribes, but she is as well the founder and president of Uganda international Fashion Week that birthed the now vibrant fashion sector in the country.  She is also won the first prize, Presidential Transformers Appreciation Award, given by the President of the Republic for her hard work in contributing to her country’s economic and social development by growing the country’s fashion and design industry.

Her niche market, comprising of fashion-sensitive business and government executives, politicians, and dignified citizens are aged 40 and above.

The AFX 2018 was sponsored and supported by the National Department of Arts and Culture, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, BLK OPL, The Macallan, and the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission.

Digital Media Handles:


Instagram:  @KZNFC

Facebook: KZN Fashion Council

Twitter: @KZN_FC

LinkedIn: KZN Fashion Council

About ARAPAPA by Santa Anzo

Santa Anzo is the founder and President of Uganda International Fashion Week and is the recipient of the 1st prize Presidential Transformers Appreciation Award awarded by the President of the Republic of Uganda to excelling persons and businesses. She is also the recipient of the Lifetime Fashion Icon Achievement Award, the highest honour so far given in the fashion sector in Uganda. The President of the United Nations Security Council recognized Anzo as one of 87 women that have scaled heights in Uganda.