In Churches around Uganda today, those who support more relaxed dress codes do so on the basis that congregants should come to God as they are, and that communion with God requires no special clothing.
Those who support more formal and decent dress codes explain that although communion with God does indeed not require special clothing, a church service or any other sort of Christian gathering is an office of devotion and as a matter of respect, it is therefore appropriate to wear one’s most modest attire.
Recently speaking at the 2019 ‘Men Gather’ Conference organised by Phaneero Ministries International, well established fashion designer and business woman, Santa Anzo cautioned attendees on what promises they make through the outfits they wear.
Anzo said her call is to transform the community in which she leave with the gifts that God gave her.
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“If I am going to be associated to anyone, they should embody the values that I embody. I cannot be of you, if you cannot showcase broadly the values that I stand for,” Santa Anzo, who is the CEO of Arapapa Consultancy Limited said in her speech at UMA Multi-Purpose Hall in Lugogo, Kampala.
“A lot can be done, but we begin it by doing our fashion right. Fashion is not clothing – it is your way of life and belief system,” she explained.
Why did Santa Anzo call her business Arapapa?
“It is because a butterfly’s metaphor tells the story of my life. From being a refugee and having nothing to representing my country at very respectable, reputable and international fashion and business forums,” she explained.
Santa’s life was greatly challenged in 1979 when the then president of Uganda Idi Amin Dada was kicked from power.
Amin, as earlier reported by the Observer News Paper, was from her Madi tribe and his tribe mates, including Santa’s father suffered revenge reprisals.
Santa’s father was accused of committing crimes and taken away. This prompted the then 4-year-old Santa to separate from her mother and live with her grandmother in Moyo district of West Nile.
On one occasion, as the fighting that ousted Amin reached their area, she had to flee for dear life into Sudan.
“I made a decision that if we are going to change this country, I am going to be one of the change makers, that each piece of cloth I make, is going to communicate,” she told the ‘Men Gather’ conference.
“Fashion has a great sense of what we believe in ourselves. Fashion has a lot to do with where we are going,” the well established designer said, revealing how followers of Christ can use fashion to impact the world.
“You better know your identity. Even though I am here as a fashion designer/expert, everything begins in the spiritual before it manifests in the physical,” she said.
“The way you look tells us a true story of who you are before you actually say to us in words. To be a force of transformation in the cloths that I design, whatever sketch that I make, I am going to say a prayer, and by the time I hold my pencil, I am going to make a sketch that represents my values systems,” she added.