Accra Fashion week, African medical screenings, African prints, Fatima Initiative for Public Health Reform, FIPHR, Ghana designers, Greater Accra regional hospital, Hadiza Kassim, HIV, Ithaca college, Lekma hospital, Malaria, Nina township, Sarauniya, Stay woke, Young entrepreneur
Hello my Style Star Sisters. I think it is important to feature someone whose style goes beyond fashion. Hadiza Kassim is just that person to keep one’s eye on. She’s helping to change her native country of Ghana in major ways.
While most college students are consumed with courses, deadlines, and social activities, Hadiza Kassim, juggled the demands of a combined bachelor and masters program in occupational studies and a thriving fashion business. In 2014, while a student at Ithaca college, Hadiza started her fashion brand, Sarauniya. I had the pleasure of speaking to this dynamic young woman to learn how all this came about. Well, let’s just say fashion was the catalyst for Hadiza’s true calling.
A Fashion Brand is Born
When a friend gifted Hadiza an African print bag, she immediately knew if she loved the bag then others would surely want this accessory too. So, the young entrepreneur decided without hesitation and fear to sell the bold and colorful bags. Hadiza wanted to get her bags made in Ghana and use local artisans to make certain the bags had an authentic African flair. And, what better way to pay homage to her Ghanaian roots and provide sustainability to Ghana through jobs. This was the beginning of Hadiza’s fashion brand, Sarauniya, which means Queen in Hausa, a language widely spoken in West Africa.
Ain’t no Stoppin Her
Hadiza expanded Sarauniya to include a women’s clothing that embodied a contemporary and sophisticated vibe. She showcased vibrant colors and patterns to highlight the beauty in all women. She even showed her collection during Accra Fashion week in 2016. Take a look below at some of her designs.
Her true Calling
You would think her studies and fashion brand were enough to keep Hadiza busy. No, she had only just begun. As a child visiting Ghana often with her family, Hadiza knew she wanted to give back to her beloved country. She saw the disparity of medical resources in undeserved areas of Ghana. During her senior year, Hadiza changed her major to gerontology with a concentration in occupational therapy. She would take this knowledge and focus on helping to improve the health and wellness for those in need.
Fatima Initiative for Public Health Reform
While speaking to this soft spoken entrepreneur, the term ‘woke’ immediately comes to mind. She saw a need for resources in Ghana and worked tirelessly to find solutions all while still completing her degree. Hadiza’s selflessness and determination are what led to her next venture. On April 8, 2017, The Fatima Initiative for Public Health Reform launched. Her goal was to bring preventative care, community medicine, and education to those areas in Ghana that have the greatest disparity.
How Sarauniya Helps
Hadiza uses a percentage of her profits from Sarauniya to help FIPHR with various out reach programs. On Oct. 14, 2017, FIPHR , she launches their first free clinical screening in the Nima township. Hundreds came from far thanks to the help of local mosques, advertisements and radio. Hadiza was fortunate to work with two local hospitals, Lekma hospital and Greater Accra regional. The medical personnel offered HIV testing and STD testing, blood pressure, malaria and others. See the pics of this event below.
This is just the beginning for Hadiza Kassim’s mission to bring health resources to a country she loves. As the saying goes, it takes a village, and we can support the mission of this determined young woman. Please check each site to learn more.
And, remember my Style Star Sisters, style can transcend fashion. Stay woke!
Your Style Star Sister,