18% of the population in Ghana is Muslim, and while the West African country is known for its vibrant fabrics, most hijab options sold in the markets of the capital, Accra, come from outside the country. The Abam sisters saw an opportunity there. “I said to myself, ‘Why not come up with something from myself that will meet the hijab rules while using African prints?,’” recounted 27 year old Sekina Abam.
Now she and her sister, Nefisa, 32, have started Libras Hilaan, a clothing line where they use the local fabrics to turn out colorful headscarves and modest-wear dresses. Nefisa also runs the Nefeesah Hijab brand.
“A woman naturally wants to look beautiful, and coming from an African setting where is Islam is minimal like in Ghana here, it’s difficult for her to wear black or something that is print-less, design-less,” says Sekina. “She wants to fit in but she also wants to try to obey God. So I decided to come up with these designs that would meet such needs.”