The founder of African Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN), Ronke Ademiluyi said the just concluded two-day AFWN was historic because it was hosted in Africa’s culture, grandeur and splendour site, the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
She added that the move was in a bid to promote and showcase the African culture and heritage to a global audience, using African and Nigerian fabrics in various designs and styles.
Ademiluyi stated further that the long term growth of the fashion industry was grounded in developing initiatives to ensure that it remained in the forefront of creativity, fashion, style and innovation.
“This year’s AFWN is unique as we had 56 designers and 40 exhibitors selected from various parts of Nigeria and the African continent, displaying their talents and brands in the two-day catwalk show.
Four African designers from Ghana, Cameron, Senegal and Zambia, joined 52 African designers in the creation of cloths, bags, head gears, suitcases and footwear’s, using African and Nigerian fabrics”, she said
Ademiluyi said that this year’s fashion show concentrated on promoting African fabrics, since African prints was gradually becoming household attire for Nigerians and beyond.
The cultural promoter noted that Nigerians currently wear the Ankara mostly on Fridays, adding that it was not enough.
“It should be adopted officially for workers and even the school children, so it should be won proudly to official functions. African fashion industry is currently worth $31 billion so we must collaborate to promote it within our country, we should be proud of our culture because it is rich.
In trying to infuse our culture with the western world, people should not fail to see the beauty and richness of the Nigerian culture”, she said. Some of the fashion designers on the catwalk show were: Reverse, (handmade bags, suits), Zainab Bridals, Lamzie from Owerri, Simply Sleek, Women in Nigeria Designs (traditional Oleku). Others were Modella, Kola Kuddus, Maufechi, Regalia by FAL, Blingshiki, Zizi Cardow, Marobuk, Tash by Tasha, Linda Ngwi (Cameroun) Sally Bawa and Alex Akande (Cameroon).
However, the youngest designer, The Zibronetti, a 13 years old girl, who said her motivation was drawn from her mum, also trilled the audience with her unique designs. Some of the dignitaries in attendance were Hon. Fumilayo Tejuosho, Aba Folawiyo, (first fashion designer), Erele Dosumu, Nike Gallery, Denrele Edun, among veterans in the industry.
Trend du jour: Bold stripes are back
If you know anything about fashion, you would know for a fact that everything is recycled. We keep seeing different fads come in and after a while, they fade out. Some may take longer than others to fade, but fade they do.
Give such items a few years or decades and they are back again and are the new rage of the fashion industry.
So we have seen stripes in all forms come and go, much like polka dots and animal prints.
Black and white stripes are the most loved and therefore often recurring.
However, lately, we are getting much love from the bold, colourful stripes too. Look around you and chances are you have seen or will soon see someone rocking a piece in big, bold, colourful stripes including; jumpsuits, blazers, skirts and maxi dresses.
Don’t worry about how to style it; you can almost never go wrong with your choice of accessories.
Listen to your acne
Ladies who do not often have breakouts sometimes find that they suddenly break out.
Other ladies who have learnt to live with their acne as their fate too have a thing or two to learn about their condition.
Your acne break out is often pointing to some other underlying condition. Acne on your upper lip or below the lips and all the way to the jaw line often points to regular hormonal issues or imbalance. The bridge of your nose is often covered with enlarged pores and is a pretty common occurrence on m a n y ladies. Acne on your forehead however, could be a sign of dehydration.
It means you are not taking in as much water or fluids as your body needs.
It is a sure sign for you to start chugging on more H20. Sounds pretty easy right? Get drinking then!
Acne on your cheeks, right below your eyes is believed to be a symptom of allergies. Perhaps you are reacting to something in the environment, in or on your body.
Whatever your acne is pointing to, take control and fix it before it gets any worse. You could also consult a dermatologist if you are alarmed
‘It was difficult being only black girl in Canadian medical college’
Canadian-born Nigerian CHIKA STACY ORIUWA is a student at the medical college at the University of Toronto, Canada and was incidentally the only black student in her class of 259. Being the only person of colour had its challenges but rather than allow that weigh her down, it sparked in her a desire to create a change and talk about the lack of diversity in a country which prides itself as being inclusive. In this interview with AHAOMA KANU, she talks about her desire to bring some changes back home
You are a medical student at the University of Toronto but have such a huge online presence with your writings; essays and spoken word poetry which tempts me to ask if you are drawn to the art or just a talent you have?
I have written poetry since I was seven years old, and have been sharing my poetry publicly since I was 12. I started to perform my poetry in university, and have since then competed at a provincial and national level as a professional spoken word artist. The art of creative writing and performance poetry is deeply ingrained into my being, and provides me with a platform of advocacy that transcends normal dialogue.
You are the only black student in your class of 259, what were those initial fears or challenges you may have had on coming to this realising this and how were you able to deal with it?
The initial feeling that I had was disillusionment. I anticipated that I would be amongst individuals with whom I could share a similar identity, being that I was attending medical school in one of the most diverse cities in the world – Toronto, Canada. When I realised this, I was taken aback, and deeply concerned. This new educational environment is one where there are wells of social capital and professional networks that can propel one’s career; I felt that I did not have the same access to this.
Moreover, I felt as though I had to overcome any preconceived notions that I did not belong there, or was not as deserving. As such, I placed an undue burden upon myself to excel and perform at a standard of perfection, which is incredibly difficult to achieve in medicine. This led me to feeling emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted for the majority of my first year of medicine, until I got involved in advocacy that lead me to feel more empowered.
Take me back to your formative years, can you describe the kind of family you come from and the influence and morals your parents had on you and your siblings?
My parents came to Canada from Nigeria years before my siblings and I were born. They ingrained in us a strong work ethic and the fortitude to persevere through hardships. Growing up, I watched both of my parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, in hopes that they could provide us with a life that they never had. They laid the best foundation for their children, and gave us the opportunity to become whatever we wanted in life.
My mother, in particular, imbued her children with a deep faith in Christ that led us through our darkest hours. I am grateful for my parents, the sacrifices they made, and the love that they have showed us.
Having read your essays and watched your performance I have this hunch that you may have had this curiosity and appetite for the arts; who would you say influenced this?
My love for the arts is largely derived from my cousin Obinna Obilo, who is also a poet and spoken word artist as well. When I was nine years old, he published a compilation of his works that I would read cover-to-cover. I am also inspired by the works of Dr. Maya Angelou, who is my biggest artistic inspiration and someone I look towards regarding Black intellectual thought and the feminist movement.
I had a chat with your father and he mentioned that you wanted to read law until you had a discussion with him, why law if I may ask?
I wanted to pursue law, momentarily, because I have always had a passion to protect the most vulnerable. Moreover, I have had a passion for public speaking and advocacy that I thought would have lent itself well to a career in law. Ultimately, I decided against law after private introspection and coming to the realization that medicine is my calling in life.
Things Fall Apart, Prof. Chinua Achebe, started out as a medical student before changing his studies to English literature at the University College (University of Ibadan ); Chimamanda Adichie also started out as a medical student at UNN before opting for communications and political science, did you at any point have this conflict of exploring the arts?
Yes, much like my predecessors Chimamanda and Prof. Achebe, I have often found myself conflicted between literary arts and medicine. I knew that ultimately, I will never be truly happy if I have to forfeit one for the other. When I entered medical school, I felt that I was losing some parts of my artistic identity as medicine often is an all-consuming pursuit. I no longer had time to perform or write poetry like I used to. Luckily, I have found a way to marry my love for writing and science through doing medical diversity advocacy through spoken word poetry and writing think-pieces for local magazines and news articles.
What actually inspired you to want a career in medicine?
From a young age I’ve had a passion to protect the most vulnerable, and I was immediately drawn to taking care of babies, particularly neonates. Inspired by my uncle who is a neonatologist, I learned that I can most meaningfully impact this population through becoming a paediatrician and specializing in neonatal medicine. This passion was beautifully accompanied by my love of sciences and humanitarian pursuits.
Being one out of 259 is spectacular, now what is that exceptional thing you did that made you scale the hurdle of getting into medical college?
I would say that being a “Renaissance Woman” is what made me stand out in my medical school application. My application was decorated with both my passions of medical research and poetry involvement in the community. I believe this made me stand out as I was not the traditional applicant with activities solely revolving around science or medical pursuits.
Would you say that having fewer people of colour in medical schoolr in Canada isn’t a question of the lack of abilities on the side of black people but perhaps the fault of the system?
This is true – the paucity of Black people in medicine is the result of a system that inherently disadvantages Black students from an earlier age. Black students are disproportionately streamed into educational streams below their capability and away from the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Moreover, they are provided with fewer opportunities for mentorship, as well as lower social capital and insight into the medical school process.
In one of your essays, ‘In My white Coat I’m More Black than Ever’, you recalled countless times you faced ‘implicit and explicit racism and discrimination in general,’ can you recall some of them and how you deal with such attitude?
One of the experiences I faced was being asked by a fellow classmate on the first day of school if the medical school had made it easier for me to get in. This made me feel inherently inadequate and that I did not earn the spot at that institution. I was then dismissed by some professors who didn’t know how certain dermatological presentations would look on a person with black skin. Dealing with these kinds of instances was difficult as there was not a Black community in my class to fall back on. Luckily I was able to lean on my friends and family outside of medical school, all of whom kept me grounded throughout the year.
Heidi Singer, in her piece ‘On Being a Black Woman in Medicine’, said you decided to tackle the issue of the discriminations by writing the poem ‘Woman Black’, why did you choose a poem to tackle what you were going through?
have always fallen back on poetry to express myself when other mediums fail. Writing comes most naturally to me; when I encountered hardship in medical school I immediately turned to my journal and starting scribbling my thoughts down. I knew that I wanted to engage my audience in a meaningful way that was unique- performance poetry was the best way for me to do this.
Have you ever visited your home country Nigeria?
Unfortunately, I have never been to Nigeria but I plan to go when I have gotten my medical degree so that I can attend a medical mission for underserviced areas back home.
One of the stories that put Nigeria on world headlines was the 2014 kidnapping of the Chibok Girls, how did you receive the news and how do you feel that such incidents still happen in Nigeria?
I remember reading the story on the news and it immediately broke my heart. Being half-way across the world I felt so helpless. I wish I knew how to mobilize the government here to do something about the crisis back home.
In what aspect of governance in Nigeria would you love most to see the Nigerian government improve?
would love for the government to improve Nigerian healthcare infrastructure. There are still people dying from highly treatable conditions in Nigeria, like dehydration and chronic Diarrhoea. There are preventable illnesses that claim lives every day.
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