Chimamanda Ngozie-Adichie Promotes Nigeria through Clothes
In 2016, the Nigerian government launched the ‘Buy Nigerian to Grow the Naira’ campaign to boost patronage of locally produced products to revive the dwindling economy. Recently, award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozie-Adichie, who is slowing becoming a style icon with her colourful and fashionable clothes, announced via her Facebook page that she would be wearing clothes made only by Nigerian designers as she kicked off her ‘Wear Nigerian Campaign’.
“If we are to grasp for a silver lining, then the ‘Buy Nigerian to Grow the Naira’ rhetoric is one.”
“In that spirit, I recently decided to wear mostly Nigerian brands for my public appearances. (Before, by the way, President Buhari declared ‘Made in Nigeria dress’ days.)”
Indeed, recently, President Muhammadu Buhari declared Mondays and Wednesdays as Made-in-Nigeria Dress Days across the country. The declaration was made in a letter dated April 4, 2017, addressed to the executive secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
This declaration is a deliberate attempt to endear the nation to made-in-Nigeria products through the ‘Wear Nigerian Campaign’ to give the economy a much –needed boost. Perhaps in the same vein, the government will ban the importation of fabric, so fashion designers can source for their fabric locally.
Adichie further stated, “In the past few weeks, I’ve bought more Nigerian brands than I ever have in the past. I’ve discovered new names. I’ve been filled with admiration for the women and men running their businesses despite the many challenges they face. I’m particularly interested in ‘inward-looking’ brands, those for whom dressing Nigerian women is as important as other goals.
I’ve changed quite a few dodgy zippers, been disappointed by some poor quality fabrics, and been impressed by some detail-oriented finishing. Overall, I love the clothes, their cut, their whimsy, their colour, their flair, and their ability to make me feel like myself. Their makers, from designer to tailor to button-fixer to okada-delivery-person, deserve to be supported.”
Chimamanda Ngozie-Adichie has become one of the biggest ambassadors of Nigerian and African culture, by showcasing Nigerian designers to the world and of course, most of these designers will get the recognition and patronage they deserve because she has worn their clothes on a global stage.
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