Condé Nast College is delighted to welcome the first recipient of the Roberta Annan/African Fashion Foundation (AFF) Scholarship, Damilola Odeyemi from Abuja, Nigeria. Damilola says after a month at the College, she’s having the time of her life.
About the African Fashion Foundation Scholarship
The African Fashion Foundation Scholarship was inaugurated in 2021 by Roberta Annan, a globally-renowned impact investor, the founder of AFF and also a member of the College’s own Advisory Council to provide an opportunity for African creatives to receive world-class fashion education to boost the continent’s bubbling creative sector.
Damilola says she’s loving her course, a BA in Fashion Communication and Industry Practice. “Already everything is so much more than I expected it to be,” she says. “The course is so fast-paced and we’ve already had the chance to meet some incredible industry experts, people in top jobs in the business, which is the kind of exposure I could never have dreamt of getting anywhere else.”
“London has been a real culture shock,” she goes on, “being such a diverse place full of people of all kinds and I’ve already met so many creative minds. There’s so much to see. We visited Vogue House for my course and the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the current exhibition on African Fashion. I’ve actually been to the V & A twice already, as the AFF sent me to the Thebe Magugu Show there too. Honestly, it’s been a whirlwind.”
Damilola did a degree in law in South Africa before coming to Condé Nast College in what has been a big change of direction, but one she’s really delighted to have made.
“The African Fashion Foundation exists to help budding entrepreneurs to build their businesses and to find a place in the global market. Africa needs young people with energy and bright ideas to be given the chance to thrive. They are the future of our continent.” Roberta Annan
“My sister is a fashion designer and I help her with her business. She spotted the scholarship opportunity and I knew right away it would be perfect for me. The course gives you the chance to get a foot in the door in what is a very competitive world, so I’m hugely grateful to be here.”
Damilola dreams of becoming a fashion editor and has been really encouraged by having the chance to work on the editorial section of the College website. She’s keeping her options open, however, as she says her lecturers have advised her to keep an open mind about the career pathways which might open up before her.
Moving to a new country has been a challenge, but she says she’s been massively supported by the College and the AFF. “My accommodation is provided and people are constantly checking in with me to see that I’m getting on okay. I feel incredibly well looked after.”
College CEO, Nick Isles, says, “We’re thrilled that Damilola is settling down so well here and playing a full part in student life. The scholarship is an opportunity for us to help people to realise their dreams who might not otherwise even imagine they might one day come here. We’re grateful to Roberta and the AFF for entrusting us with the scholarship programme and very much hope to expand it to give chances to more African students in the future.”
Roberta Annan says, “The African Fashion Foundation exists to help budding entrepreneurs to build their businesses and to find a place in the global market. Africa needs young people with energy and bright ideas to be given the chance to thrive. They are the future of our continent. Damilola had to really impress to win the scholarship, as she faced intense competition from some very deserving candidates. Everyone at AFF is delighted to see how much she’s clearly enjoying the experience, and gaining so much from it.”
Applications are now open for next the 2023 AFF scholarship at the College.