Cloth is something we
put on everyday, but when it comes to choosing the proper outfit to match or to bring out new styles, a fashion spirit becomes invokable. In campuses of various tertiary institutions of learning, different fashions are exhibited and divergent fashion views expressed in students daily attires.
As new things come out everyday, one thing that has stood out in the fashion world is change. We are bombarded with new fashion ideas from music, videos, books; even musicians and celebrities influence our fashion.
However, the big question is, ‘what percentage of African culture is sampled or highlighted in our fashion, especially in campuses?
Obviously, fashion has gone beyond what we ordinarily think of it.No one can tell how the short skirts and boots worn by teenagers in England in 1960 made it runways to Paris or how the ripped jeans became so popular among the male and female folks in Nigeria’s campuses.
Imagine the flay pants popularly known as Fela in the early 1990’s coming back into the fashion world in another creative style. Students on campuses these days make fashion statements with simple embroidered brocade, short top aso-oke, designed Ankara, eye glass frames without lenses, torn jeans and many more.
Some undergraduates spoke to The Tide about their styles.
A 400 level student of History and International Relations, Federal University, Otuoke, Judith Nnamaka, told The Tide that fashion is all about comfort and personality. She also said that at times, people that have been so addicted to fashion tend to move from its comfortability to just looking good. A girl can deny herself food for some-days just to wear a particular outfit to a particular event.
“I wear clothes depending on the occasion.Fashion is choice depending on what you want. I get my fashion items online, stores, dealers. It doesn’t need to cost me much to be fashionable”, she said.
A 200 level student of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Aribiba John, said, “choice inspires my dress sense; I like wearing jeans with sneakers and mostly short gowns. I get my fashion items from boutiques and it doesn’t really cost me much, it just depends on what I want and can afford”, she said.
For John Paul a.k.a Finest Boy of the Federal University, Otuoke , his dress sense is inspired by the love to look different, unique and in a good way. He likes trying out new things and doesn’t always follow trends that are too popular.
He also gets his fashionable items from anywhere and with a good combinations and maintenance, he looks good on it.
A 300 level student of Mass Communication, Abia State University, Ijeoma Gbufor, said she “likes to appear real and casual. I like jeans and top, I like the ripped jeans, that is what is trending now. Money na im dey cook better soup. For one to be gorgeous, you have to put in for it; I don’t need to spend much, my comfortability matters and I do most of my shoppings in Port Harcourt”, she said.
An upcoming artiste from University of Port Harcourt, David Eniniyong sees being fashionable as looking good. In his words, “as an upcoming artiste, I wear clothes to express myself and I tend to emulate the hip hop Nigerian musicians,” he said.
According to David, western world has eaten deep into the fashion industry, thus, most students prefer the western fashion to our local Nigerian wears.
“The trending fashion in UNIPORT for both male and female is the rough jeans and it still makes us look good”, he said.
However, for Rachael Green, a 400 level student of English and Communication Studies, Federal University, Otuoke, the stylish Ankara designed outfit remains a great delight anytime any day.
“I am more or less indigenous, I love the African stylish trends. For me, I don’t need to spend more to look beautiful. I wear clothes to look good and I do my shoppings in Port Harcourt and Aba,” she said.
Racheal’s dress sense is inspired by top model, Ronke Fela.
Also, a 300 level student of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Daniella Fiberesima, said that uniqueness matters a lot in dress sense.
“I am not the fashion type but I like looking good. I like wearing canvass and a simple outfit probably jean to match because I feel comfortable in it. I go for the lesser prices and sometimes my uncle sends the expensive ones to me. Naturally, I don’t like flat shoes, it looks flat on me”, she said.
A 400 level student of Sociology and Anthropology, Federal University, Otuoke, Bello Edward, told The Tide that being fashionable differs in individuals. Bello said that apart from wearing clothes that suite him, he also puts on fashionable clothes for people to admire.
“I don’t go for trending wears, and I love the English wears than the native ones. I don’t wear clothes based on occasion. As far as it is good on me, I go for it”, he said.
A 300 level student of Theartre Art and Film Studio, University of Port Harcourt, Charles Wokem, said during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, there was nothing like torn jeans, rather there was this gorgeous flay pants popularly known as Fela accompanied with high heel shoes, but this 21st century, people tend to go for new innovations.
Charles said fashion has gone beyond what we ordinarily think of it.
“The dimension of fashion on some campuses is such that some university guys buy new pairs of sunglasses and pull out the lenses and now wear holes on just the frame. This makes them look good and it draws attention, although this style of wearing eye glass is ridiculous and comic”, he said.
Howbeit, Charles’ dress sense is simply inspired by being neat and appearing gorgeous. I like what is trending and colourful. Naturally, l look good and unique in English and traditional attires. Simplicity is my own tag”, he added.
Nwabueze and Wordu are interns with The Tide
Chinenye Nwabueze & Elvis Wordu
NGO Gives Hope To Widows
It was another opportunity to put smiles on the faces of widows especially the very indigent in Rivers State as the Handmaid Skills Acquisition Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, organised an empowerment programme tagged ‘Widows Hope 2019’.
The programme, which hosted a collection of widows, vulnerable youths, orphans and the less-privileged from different states of the federation, took place at TII Ama Galaxy Centre-Port Harcourt, recently with the theme, “Make Widows Matter”.
Highlight of the occasion was the empowerment of over 300 indigent widows with equipment ranging from grinding, sewing machines, gas cookers, food roasting apparatus with which to start life while others left with various relief materials.
The convener/visioner, Chief Grace Opara, told journalists that helping the less privileged; the widows, the orphans, the downtrodden, and giving them hope where there seems to be no hope, is a mandate she received from God.
According to her, she does this by providing them with means of sustainable livelihood which she sources from corporate support and well meaning Nigerians.
Chief Opara who declared her NGO’s main goal as ‘sustainability’, expressed delight in seeing smiles on the faces of the widows, orphans and less privileged in attendance. ‘When I see the challenges they pass through, being raised as an orphan, I can’t help going the extra mile to make them happy’ She said.
The visioner said, so far, over 500 indigent widows and physically challenged from different communities, have been empowered with one life sustaining material or the other, said her widows skills centre trains them on catering, tailoring, hair dressing, ICT, shoe/bag making and Nylon production, sustaining material or the other. She thus advised beneficiaries to ensure that materials released to them are optimally utilized so the aim of the initiative could be actualized.
On the attitude of some beneficiaries of such gesture, she said that her team monitors beneficiaries by following them up to ensure that the empowerment materials are effectively utilized so as to achieve the purpose for which they are empowered. “We have files containing their addresses. through these addresses, we were able to discover that some of them are not even indigent in the first place, they can take care of them selves. So this time, we decided to concentrate on the poor of the poorest.” She revealed.
In his reaction, the Royal father of the day, the Paramount ruler, Mgbuesilaru Community, HRH, Eze Ejike Princewill Wali, (MRSCTR, JP) expressed delight with the gesture demonstrated by Mrs Opara.
Describing her as a woman with a heart of gold he encouraged her to keep it up, while charging beneficiaries to justify the essence of the exercise.
Meanwhile, the Handmaid Initiative targets at the less-privileged widows and the vulnerable, indigent widows and their children as well as the elderly.
We Need Blueprint On Women Development – Dr Thom -Manuel
Former Publicity Secretary of National Council of Women. Societies(NCWS), Dr. Nimi Thom-Manuel, has called for a blueprint for women development.
In an exclusive interview with The Tide, Dr. Tom-Manuel said over the years, there has been decline in women’s participation in politics and governance.
She stated that apart from former President Goodluck Jonathan who involved women in governance, the present government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has put women in backwaters.
“Now, we have two or three women in the cabinet unlike before when we had about 12. We had Okonjo -Iweala , we had Akunyili and other first brains in their various careers, “ Tom Manuel said.
Pointing out that lack of a deliberate policy to empower women has led to poor inclusion of women in governance and politics. She blamed the situation on poor policy framework, recalling that the Beijing Conference laid the foundation for inclusion of women in governance.
As far as she was concerned the Affirmative Action provided the blueprint for evolving programmes and policies for women world all over.
“When I was the publicity secretary of NCWS under the leadership of Hajia Laila Dogonyaro, we participated in the Bienjing Conference and made presentations for Nigeria. Unfortunately, what we proposed were not adopted here, if not by now we would have gotten up to 40 per cent of women in governance.
“ For me , I don’t beleive in 30 per cent. It should be 50-50 though in this kind of society, it’s difficult, but women should push their way up,” Tom-Manuel maiantained.
Part of the current handicap she explained comes from education. Highlighting education as one way women could compete in leadership positions, she used herself as an example as she currently serves on the board of the Rivers State Housing and Property Development Authority.
As far she is concerned there is no end to knowledge and to her lies the power to change society, as she challenged the womenfolk to acquire more knowledge.
Further stressing on the role of women in governance ,the woman activist reasoned that there is a gradual decline in women’s participation in politics citing the case of Rivers State.
“ Today there is only one woman amongst 32-member Assembly, so what can she do?
“ We used to have four before and I thought that by now they would have exceeded that figure unfortunately it’s not so. But I thank our governor, Nyesom Wike, for what he has done at the local level where all the vice chairpersons are women, “ she emphasised.
Thom-Manuel submitted that women have huge role to play to stabilise the polity, “ Women leaders have a lot of role to play now. They could be mediators, managers and entrepreneurs. “
Another area she wants women to be alert and arm themselves is in choosing their mates and spouses. She believes that education and exposure play key roles in choosing one’s spouse.
Thom -Manuel attributed the rising divorce rate to male chauvinism and the failure of many women to choose their spouses based on educational and emotional similarities.
She stated that many women in the quest to settle down overlook such factors which later destroy the marriage due to fear from the males that their women are much exposed and educated.
“ If you and your spouse are educated, and operate on the same emotional and psychological level, then it will be difficult for your husband to see your success as a threat.
Dr. Thom-Manuel studied in England. She had her first degree in Botany from London University and she came back to Nigeria in 1974. On her return she took up a brief teaching job with the state government. But she went back to London for more studies after her short stint in teaching.
She returned to London and did a Post Graduate Diploma in International Journalism in Newcastle University. On completion she came back and took up job with the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation and rose to become Woman Editor within 14 years of her service.
She voluntarily retired and went back to the school to start a fresh undergraduate programme to read Mass communication at the then Rivers State University of Science and Technology. She went further to do her Masters at University of Port Harcourt in Political Science and later a doctor of philosophy in International Relations from the same university.
Ibinabo Ogolo & Kevin Nengia
Foundation Graduates 200 Trainees
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of F&S Catering Foundation, Mrs Faith Stephen, has said that in a bid to meet the requirements of the 21st century skills acquisition programme, her organisation will now include lecture notes, video lectures, video practicals, discussions, quiz, among others in its curriculum.
Mrs. Stephen made this declaration at the graduation ceremony of the foundation’s skills acquisition trainees held at the Omega Power Ministries (OPM) Worldwide, Okoloma –Afam, Rivers State.
According to her, every practical will be professionally captured for future trainees on their smart phones through the mobile application. This process, she said would commence in October with skills practical, using the modern, all in- one equipment with full accessories.
She added that information technology appreciation and application would be introduced by the foundation into the skills training and other innovative approaches which would be applied in the repositioning agenda.
Stephen enjoined the trainees to loose their moral compass in the course of discharging their duties in the entrepreneurial sector. She urged them to prepare to be accountable for everything they do as well as expecting their client’s participation in decision.
She, also changed the graduants to be prepared to devote their professional energies not only to their clients’ needs, but also to the entrepreneurial needs of the society, emphasising the need to make good use of limited resources.
In her words: “Never stop learning skills for your fruitful tomorrow. Always remember to practise what skill you have acquired and effectively put it into good use”.
Meanwhile, the Foundation in partnership with the Omega Power Ministries (OPM) Worldwide, Okoloma-Afam, has trained over 300 persons freely on various skills such as baking, cooking and venue decoration, among others.
Some of the graduants who spoke to The Tide, appreciated God, the General Overseer of Omega Power Ministries (OPM) Worldwide, Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere and the Foundation for initiating a free skills acquisition for them and for the honor done them.
Describing the experience as a survival strategy, they urged other prospective trainees to embrace the opportunity for their good.
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