Makeba Boateng Utip is a Fashion Activist from London, England whose formative years were spent in Lagos, Nigeria. Makeba is the daughter of the late Ghana International, Hearts of Oak and Ghana Republican (now Ghana Black Stars) Old Player, Edward Kwesi Boateng aka “Dennis Law‟ from Koforidua. Her mother Patience Afi was proprietor of one of West London’s first African grocery stores “Kilimanjaro.”
Makeba, inspired by her parents’ creativity, began sketching her own clothing designs at age eleven. At age fourteen, Makeba created her first garment, an ethnic patterned print lycra coat with matching headband, showcased in the Bentley Wood Girls Summer of Fashion Show. This is the same year that she began her modeling career after being spotted on the street by a photographer.
By age eighteen, Makeba was designing and producing African print garments in London for special events, ceremonies, private clients, and commissions such as Miss Ghana UK.
Makeba then went on to work in the UK Fashion industry both in front of and behind the camera. She has worked as a moderator, spokesperson, stylist, model (runway, house and editorial), choreographer, fashion columnist and contributor, fashion researcher, dancer, booker, and talent agent.
In the early 2000s, Makeba provided the wardrobe for the Ghanaian TV show Heart to Heart. This led to numerous opportunities to style and design for local and international celebrities, personalities, entertainers, and public figures.
In 2001, Makeba launched MCPR Africa which is headquartered in Ghana and operates within the ECOWAS region, Africa, and globally. MCPR has represented celebrities and personalities like International Reggae singer Rocky Dawuni and Africa Movie Academy Awards nominee Yvonne Okoro. MCPR has worked with luminaries including legendary musician Stevie Wonder; American GRAMMY Awards nominee Joe; actress, film director, songwriter, and author Akosua Busia; “King of Couture” luxury fashion designer Adebayo Jones; and other famous personalities in Africa, US, UK and Europe. MCPR has also worked with companies such as ICL Ghana Ltd (Monopoly Board Accra Edition launch in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts), Moet-Hennessy, Top Shop UK, Kirusa Channels, and NeHo Likors.
In 2003, Makeba established Keba Clothing, a Fashion and Lifestyle brand with two retail outlets in Osu, Ghana. Keba sold African print and textiles clothing, accessories, and novelties locally as well as exporting internationally. Keba Clothing provided wardrobe for a number of TV shows such as Music Music, and beauty pageants including the Miss Ghana national pageant. Keba won ‘Spectacular Gown’ at Miss Ghana 2003 edition. Keba Clothing was the first African label to be sold at Top Shop’s flagship store on Oxford Street in London.
In 2013, Makeba started her passion project, Fashion Forum Africa. Since its inception, one of Fashion Forum Africa’s primary missions is to research, catalogue, and document the history of Ghanaian fashion through a series of interviews of iconic Ghanaian designers and fashion pioneers to further promote culture and heritage. The preliminary research for this project, FashionXchange, began in 2010 and is registered with the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD UK).
Fashion Forum debuted its quarterly Fashion Talk series at the National Theatre of Ghana as part of Ghana Cultural Day in 2016. This Talk series which ran from 2016-2017, was successful in not only attracting large audiences, but also succeeded as a platform for discussion and debate on important, and sometimes controversial, topics within the fashion business community in Ghana.