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“My clothes help that happen,” Boateng said.

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THE MODELS

Like Boateng, South Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek, received rousing applause when she appeared on the catwalk, each time responding with a smile.

“I was very impressed designer after designer; the diversity and the shapes, the fabrics, the music and the energy,” said Wek, who’s now in her mid-thirties. “It’s beautiful to be a part of that.”

African models are eager to participate on the international playing field. Many of the Nigerian models who walked on the runway have day jobs to sustain themselves, with the local fashion industry still in its infancy.

Those local models remain eager to take up the mantle from Wek’s generation and other African models who have come after her. However, it remains unclear when another chance will come. Obaigbena announced at the show’s finale Sunday that interest had been building up in Cape Town, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya to host the next Africa-focused fashion week. With Nigeria’s logistical challenges, Obaigbena and his partners may seek a new location where fashion _ not electricity _ remains the only concern. Unless the great number of designers and fashion lovers in Lagos can convince them otherwise.

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