Friday, October 16, 2009

in the news: Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation launches National Dress Brand

we're still processing this news item but we thought we'd share anyway. the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation has decided to create what they're terming a "National Dress Brand" for all nigerians. citing ghana's distinct kente cloth and its recognition such that one can hardly think ghana without thinking kente, Otunba Runsewe, the managing director of NTDC, stated at the unveiling of this movement last week that:

“We have decided to introduce a Nigerian Dress Brand that appeal[s] to the dress sense of all Nigeria[ns], depending on the choice, quality and price.” We found the Ankara textile fabric as one that cuts across every ethnic, cultural and social borders (sic) to bring unity and economic development to our textile mills and the people.

“Though, Ankara is mostly used at social gatherings but we want to encourage it more like the Kente in Ghana which has become the order of the day and you can find it everywhere in the world and the people are very proud of it. Why can’t the Ankara rule the world too? Nigeria is big and [there is] no part of the world that you cannot find Nigeria[ns] so let['s] start to use it anywhere we go to show that we have some things unique [to us] too.”

apparently, brands like jewel by lisa, zizi cardow, and amede are working with the NTDC on this project, and NTDC plans to carry out its objectives in partnership with City People magazine.

more here and here.




WTF..... said...

Im speechless! The tourism board wants to make a fabric that is Dutch in origin and based on Javanese batiks our "Official dress".
I will never understand how our leaders think....actually I do and its not complimentary. Kente is steeped in Ghana's history and every line has rich meaning. Ankara doesnt belong to Nigeria and in fact I've seen it worn a lot more in francophone african countries than in Nigeria.
No disrespect t the designers mentioned, but they are hardly experts in african textiles. Perhaps if this board spoke to someone like Nike Davies-Okundaye who IS an expert and is flown all over the world to lecture on african fabrics, she might have pointed them in the direction of Adire or Aso-oke and countless other african fabrics that are indigenous and authentic.
Its not just that I think that it is futile trying to get the world to associate Ankara with Nigeria alone when we dont control its design or distribution, but Im totally confused as to why they re doing this. smh

xoliquoricexo said...

@ WTF *smiles*:

thank you SO much for your insightful comment. i completely agree with you and i think i'm going to sit this movement out and watch from the sidelines. rather than attempt to drape the entire country in ankara (which, like you said, didn't originate from us and isn't worn by nigerians alone), i think NTDC's energy would be better spent re-discovering and re-branding the many, many fabrics we have and empowering local entrepreneurs in lieu of world domination. i wonder if it's even possible to get the hundreds of ethnic groups in nigeria to "choose one" and forego the rest. variety is the spice of life, no?

also, i love me some ankara (and africans truly have made it what it is) but as long as vlisco's making the big bucks and nigerians aren't, i worry that this movement will fall flat on its face. i also think it's very, very unfortunate that we don't make anywhere near as much as we could from ankara because of vlisco's monopoly. in fact, designers like JBL pride themselves on using only superior quality dutch wax. too bad for nigeria's "inferior" alternative.

thanks again for your comment. we need interns like you, lol.


boli+gnut said...

You know how these people are... their wives - scrap that - their girlfriend for the night says something to them in bed and they run with it thinking it sounds extra smart.

But if you feel this strongly about it, respond to the article or write to the editor of whichever newspaper you read it from, and ensure that you're heard.

Take the example of Reuben Abati's article on the music of the "younger generation" and how he was made to shush. I know it's not the same scenario but sometimes, someone just hasn't thought something through and they need someone else to bring the simplicity of their thoughts to light.

In conclusion, do what you can to save the environment, and educate other people on climate change / global warming and what they can do to help. *plant a tree*

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
xoliquoricexo said...

@ anon: very happy to help :-)