Interview: All Africa Fashion Chats with African Fashion Week Ambassador, Menaye Donkor Muntari

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This beautie, Menaye Donkor Muntari is a former Miss Universe Ghana, model/actress, entrepreneur, philanthropist and wife of AC Milan midfielder, Sulley Muntari.

She was recently announced as an Ambassador for Africa fashion week London 2012.

Read her interview below:

 

AAF: How does it feel to be named as an ambassador for Africa Fashion Week London 2012?

MENAYE: I am honored to be chosen to be the ambassador for Africa Fashion Week London this year because I think the event is a great way to show off the talents of our continent to the rest of the world. African fashion is so unique and it is something I am so proud to be part of and have always supported.

 

AAF: Is this your first association with Africa Fashion Week London? What are your expectations for this year’s edition?

MENAYE: In terms of Africa Fashion Week London event, yes this is my first time, but I have always been a regular attendee at fashion weeks across the world. I am a huge fan of fashion and I love the idea of celebrating and supporting African talents in the industry.  I would like to see “out of the boundary” designs with statement pieces. There’s is so much more in fashion that still needs to be tapped into!

 

AAF: As an ambassador for Africa Fashion Week 2012, what credentials do you bring to bear to enhance the image of the event?

MENAYE: I’ve had a successful career in the fashion industry and I’ve gained so much experience stemming from being Miss Ghana Universe 2004, to editorial shoots in top magazines and working with designers like Ghanaian fabric house Printex. I have been told I have an eye for fashion and I feel that some of the designers showcasing their creations have incredible talent that might go unnoticed otherwise. For me, being able to support and encourage them is my goal because there’s so much talent in our continent but we just need that “extra” push!

 

AAF: As an Ambassador for AFWL 2012, what role are you going to perform?

MENAYE: I will attend as the face of Printex to promote the brand and hope to supporting young and up and coming designers and help them break into the industry and create a stir! I would also like to help raise the profile of the Africa Fashion week London so that it improves year by year.

 

AAF: Being a celebrity and a celebrity’s wife, how do you manage the pressure that this comes with?

MENAYE: I chose this career path and I am married to a man in the public eye as well so I have learnt to deal with all the pressure and setbacks that comes with the territory. I have developed a thick skin over the years and focused on the important things in my life such as my family and close friends.

 

AAF: Most at times people have weird, winding etc stories about how and why they end up in an industry or profession. What is your fairy tale story?

MENAYE: Having graduated from university in Canada, I went back to Ghana searching for a job where I was encouraged by my sister to enter Miss Universe Ghana.  Winning the competition was a complete surprise and it enabled me to do things I might not have been able to do otherwise. It gave me the confidence to move to the US where I started a modeling career. The best thing that came of it though, was that it provided me with a platform to launch my charity, which is an important part of my life, and more importantly it has improved many other people’s lives too through providing education and medication to hundreds of children in Ghana. I also run a property development company and working on my acting career as well.

 

AAF: You have lived and worked in many different cities, which do you like most in terms of taste for fashion and why?

MENAYE: Milan! Italians have a great sense of style and they are passionate about it. Looking and feeling good builds ones confidence!

 

AAF: Are you doing anything out there in relation to upcoming fashion designers and models so that we can have someone cast in your mould when you finally bow from the industry?

MENAYE: Not at the moment but I will continue to motivate and encourage up and coming designers/models in the industry to help put Africa on the map.

 

 

 

AAF: Would you consider being crowned Miss Universe Ghana 2004 as the genesis of where you have reached in life?

MENAYE: In a way, yes because it opened many doors for me and I am very fortunate for that. However, having said that, crown or no crown I’m very driven by ambition and dedication and I know that I would still have been doing what I am. It’s hard to say exactly where I would be, but I have no regrets at all and I think that’s the most important thing.

 

AAF:  How do you see the fashion terrain in your homeland Ghana?

MENAYE: Very culturally different to anywhere else in the world! Ghana has come very far but we still have a long way to go in terms of understanding the modeling/fashion industry. It’s a large market and we need to explore the possibilities. However, African fashion is getting more and more recognition across the world and we have some really great new talent entering the industry with bold designs which really embody the strength of the true African women and show everyone what we are about. I think it’s the bold prints and summery colours that are so popular with African designers that I just love and that are transgressing onto the world stage.

 

AAF: What do you tell Mr. Muntari when his national team or club side looses a game?

MENAYE: Great game baby, better luck next time!  He is very passionate about football but playing in a team means that no-one is solely to be blame and its important players always remember that.  I make sure he stays positive and looks forward to his next game whilst training hard in the mean time to improve on what went wrong in the last match.

 

AAF: Are there any closing thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

MENAYE: Live life, be happy, trust God and believe in You!

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