Ailinda Sawe has been on the Tanzanian fashion map since the mid seventies when she represented Tanzania at the FESTAC ’77 in Lagos, Nigeria; coordinating fashion for the East and Central Africa zone at the festival. After FESTAC ’77, she studied art and crafts in Greece and went on to graduate in Fashion Designing and Textile Technology at Manchester Polytechnic in the UK.
Back home, she worked as a fashion designer and supervised the YWCA Cottage Industry for some eleven years before finally deciding to go solo and establishing her own business and brand, Afrika Sana. Afrika Sana then came to be synonymous with African fashion in Tanzania.
In 2001 she pioneered in research on traditional clothing industry in Tanzania, covering nine selected tribal communities.
Major among her creative endeavors that consistently feature modern cultural wear in Tanzania are her signature styles: Serengeti, malaika, tausi and kingoni. The Serengeti style, which she did for men, women and children’s wear, giving her a win in the Dar es Salaam region National Dress competition in 2003, has become a popular wear for international conference attendees, seminar organizers and official staff wears for hotels and institutions wanting to display the nationality character.
Ailinda Sawe is a true pioneer of Tanzanian fashion; has been a successful designer for nearly four decades. She is a founding director of Afrika Sana Ltd, a renowned family based company dealing with African fashion for the past three decades.
She has participated in numerous shows and exhibitions in the country and worldwide.
Throughout her fashion career, Ailinda has remained original and true to African cultural expression. Her collections have always been an expression of African and particularly Tanzanian haute couture.