Senator representing Anambra Central, Senator Uche Ekwunife Iyom has lauded the enterprising skills of the youths in her home state especially in the creative sector of the economy.
Harping on their innovative skills in the fashion industry, the Chairman Senate Committee on Science and Technology, while highlighting her Legislative input at the Senate in promoting vocational skills, asserted that if given the right policies and support from critical stakeholders the Nation’s Fashion industry has the capacity to make a significant contribution to the economy’s GDP.
Ekwunife made this known on Friday during the Anambra Fashion Expo 2022 held at the International Convention Centre, Awka. The event was organised by the daughter of the Anambra State governor, Adaora Soludo.
Adaora who is a seamstress spearheaded a fashion expo in Awka to sensitize the people on trending fashion in the world.Adaora, who is a graduate of Economics like her father, had opted for fashion design which she has been practising since the age of 15.
Speaking on the development Ekwunife showered praises on Adaora and her team for putting on such an event which he described as laudable and commendable.
Her words; “Earlier today, I was pleased to once again witness the innovation and enterprise of Anambra youths.
“The fashion industry is a viable sector that can significantly boost our nation’s GDP. It is one industry that can emerge as a big player in the economy given the right policies and collaboration between critical stakeholders. I especially appreciate the brains behind this historic event, Miss Adaora Soludo and members of her team.
Also present at the event were the Governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Soludo and his deputy, Dr Onyeka Ibezim.
Describing fashion as mankind’s mode of expression from time immemorial Adaora because of her deep passion for it, she had to ditch Economics to face it fully.
She said that today’s programme tagged: “Anambra Fashion Expo, “ has three components.
She said: “Beyond serving as an item of clothing to protect the body against the elements, it has over time transformed to embody and exert the core essence of man’s identity.
“Fashion is not just a basic need for humans, it is also a means of subsistence for many. Creating an ecosystem where indigenous fashion can thrive and be made available for export is not only fantastic economics but also a major strategy for bridging the widening unemployment gap of the country.
“Through fashion, our people have been able to communicate without saying a word. Expressing their rich heritage, their diversity, their ingenuity with every strand in the fabric serving as a genetic code passing down the expressions of the great and proud people that came before us.
“Every day, humans struggle to meet their basic needs which include shelter, food and what to wear. All these needs and how they are met have cultural prescriptions, thus there are indigenous architecture, foods and fashion styles/clothing that identify a people and make them distinct from other people.
“Aorah( her business name) has over the years provided cultural contexts to fashion whether they are Western, African, Nigerian or Igbo. The craft of fashion can be best appreciated from a traditional perspective.”
She said while culture was dynamic and would evolve over time, cultural identities were resilient and must find expression in-between times.
Speaking on Akwete cloth, which has been popularized by her father, Adaora said it is a colourful fabric that confers a unique feeling of royalty on its wearers.
She added: “It can be dimensioned in line with the designer’s choice, fit for quick urban wear, and for all classes of social events. It comes with an aura of pride only found in those who consume what they produce. In recent times. The fabric has gained ascendancy following its adoption by the Anambra State Governor as his official attire. Other top government functionaries and leaders have also adorned this fabric of choice.
“Anambra Fashion Expo 2022, celebrates the resilience of the Akwete women who have over the years ensured that the Akwete fabric found space on our fashion map.
“Today’s exhibition is like a trade fair for everything fashion and it would be the fashion runway show.”
According to her, Akwete fabric is the only surviving piece of indigenous textile cultivated, woven, sewn and worn by NdË Igbo of South-East; and produced largely by women from the rural Akwete community in Abia State, adding, however, that “this resilient piece of colourful clothing faces the threat of extinction by a number of social and economic factors.”