Nairobi fashion house to dress 30 Soya Awards nominees

National women volleyball team Technical Director David Lungaho (right) joins Malkia Strikers in displaying their ...
National women volleyball team Technical Director David Lungaho (right) joins Malkia Strikers in displaying their team of the year in the women category during the Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) awards gala at KICC in Nairobi, Kenya on January 15, 2016. Photo/SportPIcha

The glamour stakes at the 2017 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year Awards (Soya) gala have been upped with a Nairobi-based fashion house promising on Wednesday to dress 30 nominees to the nines.

Vivienne Taa of Vivienne Fashion House has partnered with Soya organisers to dress different local sports personalities during the 13th edition of Awards that will be held Thursday (January 19) next week at the cost of Ksh500,000.

“In the world, a lot of sports people are fashion icons. Look at renowned footballers like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. They are not your typical models but when they go for an official event everyone would like to know what they are dressed in.

“The two worlds of sports and fashion are in sync; I saw the opportunity and took it with this partnership. Soya is close to my heart because I have passion in sports and I recognize the importance of sports to Kenya and what it means to the athletes to progress and go ahead,” Taa told Citizen Digital.

The fashion house owner, 35, who ventured into fashion as a hobby before going professional last year, says she is honoured to work with top sportsmen in an exciting manner that would go a long way in exhibiting her patriotism.

She was speaking at a sponsors briefing as the countdown to the gala enters its final week in Nairobi where the event also received Ksh1.5m from the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) and Ksh1m from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

“I was inspired by my love of sports and the fact that our athletes put more focus on training and good performance. Fashion, in most instances, comes as a second, third or even last priority.

“I therefore, saw a gap and took upon the responsibility of bridging it.  In Europe sportspersons are fashion-savvy; why can’t we do the same here?” posed Taa.

“I believe they can lead in the fashion world too because a lot of people look upon them for inspiration. We are dressing a few at the event because of the value of the sponsorship,” she added at the Soya function.

Taa, who is the first local fashion designer to dress the country’s world-beaters, showcased her talents for the first time at the Nairobi Fashion week and is hopeful for a good start.

“I’m not sure about next year for we are a small company. However we are not afraid to make bold steps so our options are still open depending how this year will go down.” Taa said hoping to set the fashion bar higher.

NSSF acting Managing Trustee Dr. Antony Omerikwa urged athletes to also invest in the scheme since the career of a sportsperson is short and it is prudent to have a back-up plan.

“I’m glad Kenyans are not afraid to venture into various disciplines like Archery or Kabaddi. It’s encouraging to see upcoming sports men and women venture with confidence knowing they can make it,” Omerikwa added.

Public voting for various nominees is ongoing where fans are encouraged to dial *279# on their Safaricom lines and follow the prompts to cast their ballots.

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Story By Charity Wanja
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