The graduation comes after two years of its establishment as an institution offering skills training from certificate to diploma in fashion design.
The event attracted senior government dignitaries including, Claudiana Cole, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Hon. Amul Nyassi, National Assembly Member, Representative of the mayoress of Banjul, Rohey Malick Lowe and Fashion Designers, amongst others.
The graduating batch, comprising 13 students, have undergone two years of rigorous diploma training in Fashion Design to become experts in the field ready to enter the labour market.
Addressing the gathering, Ida Saine Conteh, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute and a Fashion Designer, expressed delight to be associated with the event , saying all that she wanted is to ensure that she made something that everyone would appreciate in the country.
“I thank God that today everyone appreciates it. Now, anyone who does not know about Idea’s Ideas, the person must have then heard about it. This is just the starting. I am very delighted that I am able to establish such an institution to elevate fashion design in the Gambia. We were just doing tailoring, but where we wanted fashion design to reach, it is only establishing such an institution where the youths will learn about fashion design, construction, pattern cutting and entrepreneurship that could fulfil that,” she opined.
Chan Mendy, the principal of the Institute said the institute is the first fashion design school in The Gambia, and that their vision is to create a premier academy that would transform the face of fashion education primarily to carry a focused creative learning.
“We are committed to excellence, innovation, creativity, customer satisfaction and youth skill development and employment. The skill of fashion was never prioritised in The Gambia; it was discouraged, undermined, laughed at, left at the bottom for many years by our parents, friends and families, the government etc., and we were made to believe that the skill is only for dropouts and people who have no career path.”
She argued that that was not the case and that fashion design is a noble art, adding that it has now been proven that fashion design is one of the most important skills not only in Gambia, but around the whole globe.
Also speaking, Claudiana Cole, Minister of Basic Education underscored the importance of the day, describing the initiative as ‘indeed a breakthrough development.’
“It is indeed an achievement, and they say the journey of a thousand mile begins with one step; and Madam Ida was brave enough to take that first step a few years back, when she started this institution.”
She commended the institution for the great start, further wishing them success in their endeavor to give skills to the youth.