[By VICTOR NZE]
Ogun Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has called on the Federal Government to adopt the Adire as dress code for national events and as a cultural symbol in the nation’s foreign missions, to further promote the rich culture of the nation to the outside world.
Governor Abiodun who made the call at the official launch of Ogun Adire Digital Market Place at the June 12 Cultural centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, Thursday, also advocated the making of ceremonial dress from Adire for the nation’s athletes taking part in International Sporting activities.
Already, the Governor said, starting from next term, adire fabric would become official school uniform in all public schools in the State.
This comes as Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) hailed the Ogun governor for the bold initiative at integrating the locally-produced fabric into the mainstream economic plans of the state.
“I want to call on all stakeholders in the information, culture and tourism sectors to partner with us in promoting this national heritage. I want to particularly call on our Honourable Minister of Information and Culture to help promote the Adire at the National level. For example, members of the Federal Executive Council and other top government functionaries can adopt the Adire for National events.
“Our Foreign Missions could also adopt the Adire fabric as a cultural symbol that will further project our rich culture to the outside world. Same thing could also be done by our Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports by making the ceremonial dress of our athletes from local fabrics such as our Adire. This will go a long way in promoting the local contents and give expression to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration’s “produce what we use” and “grow what we eat” policies”, he noted.
Abiodun maintained that the event was to provide a global platform for the marketing and distribution of Adire fabric and its entire value-chain to the global markets and serve as a melting-pot for all participants in the entire value-chain and provides opportunities for a wider coverage of the market for people to reach out to vendors and transact businesses by logging into the Adire Digital Mall.
He said plans have reached advanced stage to make Adire an important aspect of everyday life, as all top government functionaries in the State now wear Adire on Fridays, just plans are underway to make the Adire part of School uniform, saying it would empower more people and further stimulate the Adire economy.
The Governor called on Investors to take advantage of the new Adire Ogun Digital Market Place by partnering and intensifying their collaboration with the State in the development of arts, culture and tourism.
Remarking at the event, the Minister, Mohammed described the launch of the digital marketing platform for tie and dye (adire), AdireOgun.com, as an innovative way to take the authentic fabrics to the global market.
“With AdireOgun.com, anyone, anywhere in the world can log on to this website, window shop and also buy any ‘adire’ material of choice. In other words, this will catalyze trading in ‘adire’ globally. And, of course, by using this website, an interested user is guaranteed to buy original and top-of-the-class ‘adire’ from the globally-acknowledged home of the product,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Adire Ogun Marketplace will be the largest inventory of adire textiles and accessories, with over two thousand merchants from Abeokuta, which is the undisputed premier centre of ‘adire’ production, not just in Nigeria but perhaps in the world.
He commended the foresight of the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for leveraging technology to promote culture, describing AdireOgun.com as a confluence of technology and culture and a great innovation.
“Today, we are here for the launch of AdireOgun.com, the Adire Ogun Marketplace. I must commend and congratulate His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, for his leadership, the Ogun State Ministry of Culture and Tourism for initiating this project which, I am told, was created to position Ogun State Adire merchants in a global market, thus ensuring the economic viability and sustainability for their trade,” the Minister said.
He said the launch of the website could not have come at a better time as the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, with a lot of businesses resorting to smart solutions in order to keep running.
Mohammed said the various Covid-19 safety protocols, especially social distancing, mean that physical contacts are being reduced to the barest minimum hence the need to come up with the kind of smart solution such as AdireOgun.com.
The Minister, along with the Ogun State Governor, made the first purchase of ‘adire’ by placing their orders through the marketing portal.
Also commenting on the development, Director General, NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe admitted he has found a soulmate in the Ogun governor, Abiodun on the strategic campaign to promote indigenous fabrics as National dress code, thus showcasing Nigeria’s iconic cultural heritage.
Runsewe who also doubles President, Africa Region of the World Craft Council (WCC), noted that the pronouncement by Abiodun for the adoption of Adire fabrics as official uniform for all the students in state remains the very critical and visible engagement to support Cultural awareness and creativity, in order to sustain the emergence of the Adire heritage economy and empower rural development.
It would be noted that Runsewe has at various times while as Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation ( NTDC) and now at NCAC, made the use of indigenous fabrics the fulcrum of national identify and promotional materials marketing agenda at all local and International Cultural tourism events.
” I’m the happiest Nigerian today and I must thank Ogun State governor for joining us to show case the Adire heritage fabrics and adopting it as school uniform for students in ogun state, including its use by government officials and in all activities of government businesses. This is the way to go as it will benefit the rural economy, empower women and youths and help in historical revival of heritage teachings and knowledge” Runsewe stated.
Adire fabrics was rebranded and became the face of Cultural marketing promotion at World Travel Markets during Runsewe time out at NTDC, adopted as golf carrier bags, laptop bags, facemasks as part of the protocols for new normal pandemic, and on national colours for specially made suits for international outings for exhibitions and marketing Nigerian Cultural tourism opportunities.
At NCAC Cultural marketing projects such as National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), International Arts and Craft expo (INAC), and conferences, local heritage fabrics such as Adire and other heritage fabrics across the nation, were usually on display as bounding, flags, neck and wrist wears, with diplomatic communities generously gifted and presented with various varieties and qualities of our local heritage fabrics.