Dede Ayite Makes History With Tony Awards Win

Ghanaian Dede Ayite has made history as the first Black woman to win a Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Play at the 2024 Tony Awards.
















Ayite won Best Costume Design of a Play for her work on “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding” though she was nominated for her work on a few shows.

The show, which opened in October 2023 and closed the following month, is set in a bustling Harlem salon where West African immigrant hair braiders create masterpiece hairstyles for local women amid uncertain circumstances that ultimately face the community to confront being an outsider in the place they call home.

During her acceptance speech, Ayitye who was also nominated in the same category for her work on APPROPRIATE and in the best costume design of a musical category for HELL’s KITCHEN, thanked her family, including her brother cheering her on from Ghana and her collaborators. She also thanked Bioh “who wrote such a beautiful piece” as well as the costume shops and makers, saying of the latter, “without them I would not be here and the show would not look as amazing as it does.”

In the Tony Awards pressroom, Ayite marveled at her historry-making win , calling it “huge”

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