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Plumbridge based fashion designer Madge to showcase collection at One World Festival

18 September 2023

A fashion collection designed and made in Tyrone but inspired by the vibrant colours of Africa will be exhibited at this weekend’s One World Festival in and around Derry’s Guildhall.

Madge Kelly is born and bred in Nairobi in Kenya but has called Ligford just outside Plumbridge home since 2018 where she lives with her husband.

She fell in love with sewing during the 2020 lockdown restrictions and has now developed a collection including tote bags, waist coats, circle skirts, scrunchies and aprons.

“I lost my beloved mother during the 2020 lockdown and that’s when I discovered the art of sewing,” she explains. “As a way of dealing with grief, I taught myself how to sew and I started making masks for family and friends.

“In due time, I started making scrunchies, tote bags and headbands in my studio at home.

“I was inspired by the rich colours of the African prints and how it showcases the vibrancy of the continent and the heritage of the people.

“I wanted to pay homage to cultural diversity through my handmade designs.”

Madge named her collection RAFIKI, a Swahili name meaning friend, and initially began to share her items with family and friends.

Their positive reaction has given her the confidence to now showcase her work to a wider audience.

“At the Guildhall this weekend I will be showcasing some of the designs I have been working on,” she added. “My motivation is to introduce and create awareness in our community of the African spirit by adopting the African prints in their wardrobe.

“By sharing my collection, I hope people will fall in love with the colours and embrace the African culture to create a sense of inclusion and diversity.

“In future I would like to train in Fashion Design, to learn the business of fashion and my goal is to showcase my African print designs in the runways of Paris and London during the Fashion Week.”

The North West Multicultural Festival - One World, hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council, will take place in and around the Guildhall from midday on Saturday September 23rd and will showcase the vibrant tapestry of global cultures that exist locally.

The comprehensive programme is a colourful celebration of worldwide music, song, dance and cuisine and includes performances, workshops, arts and crafts, storytelling, enlightening exhibitions and engaging dialogues.

A performance space will be created Guildhall Square along with food stalls and arts and crafts including Beijing Mask Making and Thai Fan Making.

The space will feature dance and music performances from a wide range of genres including Hip Hop, Indian and Ghana from midday until 4.30pm.

Inside the Guildhall, the Main Hall will feature the World of Workshops initiative where people can try India Saree tying, Polish and Latvian crafts and Chinese Dragon making.

The Guildhall foyer area will play host to a range of displays of worldwide traditional costumes while the Whittaker Suite will have dance performances from Africa, India and Asia.

A photographic exhibition by Mukesh Chugh will be displayed in the Main Hall.

Next door in Harbour House, the beautiful Obon Fest Lanterns and an Indian Culture Exhibition will be on display and people can pop into a number of discussion events about the experience people from all over the world have had in relocating to the city and district.

To access the full programme for the One World Festival visit

This festival has been supported by Council’s Good Relations Programme.

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