By Chris Onuoha
About 100 students received tailoring materials from the House of Oduduwa Foundation at the Ojaja Fashion Training Programme launch.
The occasion coincided with the gala night to mark the end of the Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN 2018) show.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, was the chief host at the event attended by Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, the First Lady of Ogun State; the Olugbon of Orileigbon, Oba Olushola Alao; Senator Ita Giwa; Chief (Mrs.) Opral Benson; Chief Dele Momodu; and Princess Abbah Folawiyo among others.
The recipients were presented to the Ooni by the coordinators of the programme, Mr. Olaoluwa and Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, for royal blessing. The students, while appreciating the Ooni, presented a song for coming to their aid.
Esther Awosunle, one of the students who spoke on behalf of the group, praised Ogunwusi for his untiring efforts towards helping the needy in the society. She also praised Ademiluyi, CEO of Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, who discovered them and encouraged them to come and learn for free.
Ademiluyi later spoke to Sunday Vanguard.
“I am happy about it. The launch today shows that all the while the Ooni has been the grand patron of the Africa Fashion Week both London and Nigeria. He has seen what designers do in the fashion industry and how we can benefit from it. His aim is also to help young women and men who want to go into the fashion industry.
It was the AFWN project that gingered him to open the fashion institute because he saw that designers were part of the Fashion Week programme, and how they have used it to promote made-in-Nigeria and Africa products”, she said.
“Currently the training is free including hostel accommodation, equipment and logistics, all facilitated by the Ooni. Another benefit of the institution is that it exposes students to international programmes while engaging them officially to design costumes that will be used for cultural festivals like the Olojo festival and other events in Ile-Ife, Osun State and beyond.
The duration varies. It runs from three months to a year and when they graduate, they stay on their own and earn a living with it”.
Also speaking, Chief Fadairo, Chairman Oduduwa Foundation thanked the Ooni for supporting the project and other numerous projects of the House of Oduduwa Foundation. The special guest at the ceremony, the Olugbon, Oba Olushola Alao, said the Ooni is so passionate about youths and he is not relenting to empower them meaningfully. Also Senator Ita Giwa while receiving her award of recognition commended the effort of the cordinators.
Meanwhile, the grand finale of the 2-day Africa Fashion Week Nigeria, featuring local and international designers, showcased the richness of African fabrics and designs. About 20 designers participated in the show.