The year was 2000. I came back to the Netherlands to study. I lived here before with my mom, but this time I came back on my own. A Caribbean girl in her early twenties with big dreams but clueless about how to bring them to life. Everything changed once I started attending gatherings of Afrikan/Black conscious people. As a daughter of a black mother from Curacao and a half white Venezuelan father, I used to identify as being mixed until a well-known historian, Dr. Kimani Nehusi, told me we are not mixed but messed up. 

Several years later I visited Ghana with my ex-husband for the first time; it was surreal! I was told so many lies about the motherland and here I was, I felt at home. This was home. The culture, people, food, music, fashion, the love and warmth made me feel welcome. Being there, of course I had to visit Elmina castle. Walking through the door of no return I knew instinctively that this trip would change my life forever. And it sure did. My re-connection with the motherland gave me a sense of Self. Reconnecting and grounding myself as an Afrikan woman gave my life purpose.

Another life-changing event that took place on my first trip to Ghana many moons ago is me falling in love with Ghanian fashion. All the colorful Afrikan prints, the Kente clothes that I bought on the market, making my own Sankofa Batik, the beads. I could go on and on. It’s on this trip that my addiction to Afrikan print and Afrikan fashion in general started and I never looked back.

Fast forward 20 years. Here I am today: a mother of three half Ghanian children; an entrepreneur with an agenda to create generational wealth for them; and a proud Black woman dedicated to contributing to the spiritual, cultural and economic freedom of Afrikans & Afrikans in the diaspora.

In 2019, the year of return, I visited Ghana for the second time. I knew I wanted to reconnect with Ghana in business as well. My wonderful hosts Alfred & Afiya happen to also be AMAZING couturiers. They’ve designed my favorite Afrikan garments. After some brainstorming Omanye was born. An Afrikan fashion subscription model that makes it possible for your designs to be tailor made in Ghana. Omanye is a Ghanaian (Ga Tribe) word that means ‘everything that is excellently good’.

Omanye is my personal invitation letter to the Afrikan diaspora to reconnect to the motherland through fashion. Omanye is also a love letter to us, melanated people all over the world, to be reminded that we come from greatness and to greatness we shall return.

Last but not least, Omanye is a means to pay homage to our ancestors. For their sacrifices and endurance, because of them and by the grace of GOD/Oludomare we RISE.

 

Ashé

Danitzah Jacobs