Princess Adejoke Somoye, convener of the Gbagede Ewa Ede Foundation, revealed the foundation’s intention to create an empowerment effort dubbed the Adire Textile Training and Exhibition (ATTE 2021) in order to boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange revenues.
ATTE 2021, which aims to provide specialised training in Adire making to 2,000 interested participants, is one of the foundation’s suggested events to honour its tenth year of promoting Yoruba society’s aesthetics, cultures, norms, and tradition.
Somoye, convener of the Gbagede Ewa Ede Foundation, announced the idea during a recent news conference held at the Daktad Hotel in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
She stated, speaking on behalf of the foundation,
“It has become very necessary for us (Yoruba indigenes) to further reshape the fashion world with our very unique cultural identity, knowing fully well that the culture of our dear nation stands as multi-ethnic and gives a lot of value to different types of arts; which primarily include ivory carving, grass weaving, wood carving, leather and calabash, pottery, painting, glass and metal works, and cloth weaving (textile). Among all these forms of arts, Adire, which is common among the people of Egbaland in our dear Ogun State is undoubtedly the most reflective of its cultural origin.
“No doubt, Abeokuta is said to be the capital of the Egba nation and the Adire industry in Nigeria. The Yoruba label Adire (meaning tie and dye) has now included a variety of hand-dyed textiles using wax-resist batik methods to produce patterned cloth in a dazzling array of dye tints and hues. Whether created by old processes or new innovations, adire today continues to face fashion challenges even as China now engages in its production en masse at subsidised price even in our nation’s market. However, the locally made Adire still remains an alternative to machine prints, hence it is high time government provided support fund to this industry to boost its production and further make it thrive beyond the shores of the nation.”
Further, she noted that while the textile attracts to a large number of fashion-conscious individuals in Yorubaland, Nigeria, and globally, it has evolved into a trademark that is employed in a variety of ways to achieve a balance between traditional and modern fashion.
Somoye explained the purpose of ATTE 2021
“It is worthy of note that in recent years, there have been conscious efforts to encourage export and spread the local fabrics to different parts of Africa and beyond as various styles of the fabric have been exported to markets in the United States, United Kingdom, Asia, and international airports around the world where Adire is sold at premium prices.
“How feasible is it to bring in residents of the Gateway State, particularly women entrepreneur to become major beneficiaries of this booming market? Research and records carefully studied by our Foundation (Gbagede Ewaede) has shown that women producing Adire are not only creating a livelihood for themselves and their families, but are helping in their own way to boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings as their products are patronised well beyond Nigeria’s shores in addition to boosting the nation’s forex earnings by diversifying its revenue base to hedge the economy against the instability of the oil market.”