By Ephraim Oseji
His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, founder of Africa Fashion Week London are set to launch an Adire textile factory in Ile-Ife.
Already being described as the biggest Adire Textile Factory, the initiative is to provide opportunities for cultural exchange between African and international students of design to learn about the unique adire fabric.
To this end, Ooni and Princess Ademiluyi, who is also the Founder of Africa Fashion Week Nigeria hinted that the factory would be launched on February 22 to commemorate Annual Aje Festival in the state.
The new cultural centre, a massive capital project that will require national and international funding will be built on a 30,000 square meters of land in Ile-Ife.
Princess Ademiluyi, an award-winning fashion icon explained that the Cultural Centre will be a repository for the indigenous arts and crafts found in Africa. “It will provide an ecosystem for development, teaching and learning guided by tradition, innovation and sustainability and will connect the stories of indigenous arts to the heritage of Africa.”
According to her “Other facilities within the complex will include a gallery for visiting exhibitions, a textile museum, a digital library, heritage artisan village (which will include the bronze casting, terracotta pottery and wood carving); an aso-oke cloth weaving pavilion, Yoruba culture academy, a design innovation lab and residential lodges. The cultural complex project starts with the opening of phase one – an Adire Textile Hub, which heralds the revival of indigenous fabric production and creative arts in Ife.
“The Hub will generate employment and become an example of the Non-Oil Export Initiative promoted by the Nigerian government. It will increase the capacity of the artisans working in Ile-Ife and educate on the importance of sustainability and ethical and environmental practices.”