Princess Adejoke Lauds Ooni For Recognising Her As Cultural Activist, Plans 2021 Adire Exhibitions - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Thursday, September 16, 2021

Princess Adejoke Lauds Ooni For Recognising Her As Cultural Activist, Plans 2021 Adire Exhibitions

•••Targets 2,000 Prospective  Beneficiaries 

Princess Adejoke

Young entrepreneur and convener of Gbagede Ewaede Foundation, Princess Adejoke Somoye, is passionate about promoting yoruba rich cultural heritage. In this interaction with The Daily Crucible, she unveils the Foundation's next plans, including launching of Adire Textile and Exhibition (ATTE) 2021 to mark its 10th anniversary in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

What is Gbagede Ewaede Foundation cooking this time with the upcoming ATTE 2021 ? 

It is with great sense of pleasure to again to use ATTE 2021 bring to the attention of our people that 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 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).

Abeokuta is strategic when it comes to the history and making of Adire fabrics but it is facing threats due to inroad of imported version of Adire. What do you think?

Of 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 enmasse at subsidized price even in our nation's market. 

Do you think local Adire fabrics still have prospects given the challenges posed by imported ones?

The locally-made adire still remains an alternative to machine prints, hence it is high time government provided support fund to this local  industry to boost its production and further make it thrive beyond the shores of the nation.The textile appeals very much to the fashion conscious in Yorubaland, Nigeria and on a global level to the extent that it is far becoming a trademark used in many different ways to strike a balance between the traditional and influx of modern fashion. 
Beyond eulogizing the essence of this world-wide accepted fabric which is now being adorned by the high and mighty in the society, 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 fabrics are sold at premium prices. 

How feasible is it to bring residents of the Gateway State, particularly women entrepreneur to become major beneficiaries of this booming Adire 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. 
In view of the foregoing, the foundation has deemed it fit to put together an empowerment session through special training for 2,000 interested participants in Adire making as parts of its proposed activities to commemorate its 10th year anniversary of promoting the aesthetics of Yoruba society -its cultures, norms and tradition.

What exactly is the essence of the training? 

Having carefully examined the rising spate of unemployment index in our nation, we as a non- governmental foundation have carefully designed the session to enable participants acquiring the skill and empowering them to be financially independent, 
towards curbing the high rate of unemployment amongst youths.
It'll equally provide a better source of income, not strictly because of its high demand which is a big advantage, but because it does not necessarily require huge capital to 
start-up, a reasonable amount of money is suitable, since most of its materials can be locally sourced.
In addition, practicing adire craft will help in ensuring it doesn’t go extinct as the younger generations would also be availed with the technical know-how and enlightened 
on not only the techniques but also its history, the symbolic meanings of certain patterns, and how adire can be used as a medium of expression, while carving a niche for new brands through the creation of contemporary designs on unconventional fabrics.

How can our leaders and politicians key into this unique opportunity?

This platform provides an avenue for politicians across all levels of government, corporate organizations, government agencies, corporate organizations, religious 
bodies, political groups and public-spirited individuals to sponsor interested participants from any part of the State in the entire process producing and marketing of Adire Oniko, Adire Eleko, Adire Alabere and Adire Batani, all with variegated 
designs and creative patterns within a specified period of time.

Who should entrol for this training in adire making ?

The training presents a golden opportunity for anyone irrespective of age, sex and social status who is interested in learning the handcraft and establishing a career out 
of it for themselves towards achieving self-sustainability. Interested applicants would 
be required to go through an online registration to signify his/her interest in participating in the training which would equally come with exciting bonuses and a starter kit in addition to materials for them to practice with during the training session. 

We recall that the Ooni of Ife recently listed you among the 100 exceptional youths for recognition. What does it portend to you as promoter of yoruba culture?

I would like to use this opportunity to convey my deep sense of appreciation to the Ooni of Ifè, His Imperial Majesty (H.I.M), Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, OJAJA II, who recently conferred me with a special recognition as one of the 100 exceptional recipients (Youth) of the 2021 Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF) with the special recognition as "International Yoruba Culture and African Arts Revitalization Activist". It is worthy of note to equally acknowledge his royal and noble support towards this new project since its ideation stage. 
To me, that special gesture remains a wakeup call to other monarchs and government agencies especially in the South Western States to accord due recognition to individuals and organisations whose activities and handiwork are targeted at saving the 
rich yoruba cultural heritage from going into extinction. 

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