On top of learning the German language, about 52 learners from different schools across the country also got to learn fashion design and sewing skills in an initiative by the Goethe-Institut Namibia.
Fifteen of them were then chosen to showcase their designs at the recent MTC Windhoek Fashion Week.
The learners are from Pasch (Partners for the Future) Schools, which are Deutsche Hohere Privatschule, Windhoek High School, Delta Secondary School, Namib High School, Private School Swakopmund, Martin Luther High School, Otjiwarongo Secondary School and Etosha Secondary School.
“The focus was on Grades 10 and 11 learners learning German, and the project enabled them to discover their creative talents and discover new possible career paths,” shared Frieda Karipi, the project’s facilitator.
The participants had to submit design sketches of either a garment or an accessory item, and they were encouraged to be creative and show off their sketching and drawing skills as well as hand-sewing shills, she explained.
Like many activities in Namibia and around the world, this developmental project was also hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic, and led to the freezing of the project due to the restrictions imposed.
They decided to move things to a virtual platform, providing workshops and tutorial videos.
“If we can introduce programmes like these at secondary schools, I think by the time they hit university level, they would be able to go professional,” stated Karipi.
One of the participants, Cindy Asino from Etosha Secondary School, said it was difficult as they had to run around looking for patterns.
“Watching some videos helped me make my garment. I feel like schools should introduce this subject so that learners who are interested in designing can take part,” she suggested.
Martin Luther High School learner Immanuel Kheimseb concurred with Asino that the process was not easy, adding that he had difficulties with sewing. Unpicking threads also took a lot of time, but he gained a lot of knowledge and skills.
Corinna Burth from Goethe Institut, Lafika Joyce from 'The Clan' and Immanuel Garoeb of 'House of Tsatago' served as judges and mentors. The team conducted virtual and live workshops and tutorial videos for each stage of the competition.
Upon completion of their garments, the learners had to submit their entries with a 30-second video in German, introducing themselves and the motivation behind their garment of choice.
Prizes included a sewing machine, Chelsea fabric store vouchers, design sketch sets and sewing kits, amongst others. -firstname.lastname@example.org