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#Atte2021 to empower 2000 people through textile training

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SPEECH BY THE CONVENER, GBAGEDE EWA EDE FOUNDATION, PRINCESS ADEJOKE
SOMOYE, AT THE PRESS BRIEFING ON THE LAUNCHING OF ADIRE TEXTILE
TRAINING & EXHIBITION (ATTE 2021) HELD IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, DAKTAD
HOTEL, ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the entire members of Gbagede
Ewaede Foundation, I welcome and appreciate you all for attending this briefing being members of the fourth estate of the realm whose roles are inevitable in youth
empowerment, cultural promotion and national development.

It is with great sense of pleasure to again bring to your kind attention 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).

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Among 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.

However, the locally-made adire still remains an alternative to machine prints, hence it
is high time government provided support fund to this 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.

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Beyond eulogizing the essence of this world-wide accepted fabric which is now being
dazzled by the high and might 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 is sold at premium prices.

How feasible is it to bring in residents of the Gateway State, particularly women
entrepreneur to become major beneficiaries of this booming 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 TEN YEARS
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.

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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.

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.

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.

I would not end this address without conveying 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 culture heritage from going into extinction.

While I look forward to your questions, accept my sincere appreciation for your rapt
attention.

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