Friday, 2 April 2021

Why The Ooni Set Up The Biggest Adire Textile Factory In Ile-Ife - Princess Ronke Ademiluyi

 


It is no longer news that His Imperial Majesty, The Ooni of Ife Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II has supported the  initiative of Princess  Ronke Ademiluyi to set up the Adire Textile Factory in Ile-Ife as a  way of providing opportunities for cultural exchange between African and international students of design to learn about the Adire fabric.

 To this end, the Ooni and Princess Ademiluyi, who is also the Founder of Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria launched the biggest Adire Textile Factory on the 22nd of February 2021 to commemorate the Annual Aje Festival in the state.

 

Also, the Ooni of Ife commissioned Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria to build a new Cultural Centre to be located in Ile-Ife, in South West Nigeria.

 

The new cultural center has been described as a massive capital project that will require national and international funding sets to be laid on 30,000 square metre of land in Ile-Ife.

 

A few days back, Ademiluyi told Citypeople that the Cultural Centre will be a repository for the indigenous arts and crafts found in Africa."It will provide an ecosystem for development, teaching and learning guided by tradition, innovation and sustainability and will connect the stories of indigenous arts to the heritage of Africa."

 

According to her "Other facilities within the complex will include a gallery for visiting exhibitions, a textile museum, a digital library, heritage artisan village (which will include the bronze casting, terracotta pottery and wood carving); an Aso-oke cloth weaving pavilion, Yoruba culture academy, a design innovation lab and timeshare residential lodges."

 

"The cultural complex project starts with the opening of phase one - an Adire Textile Hub which heralds the revival of indigenous fabric production and creative arts in Ife.  

 

"The Hub will generate employment and become an example of the Non-Oil Export Initiative promoted by the Nigerian government.  It will increase the capacity of the artisans working in Ile-Ife and educate on the importance of sustainability and ethical and environmental practices."

 

 Princess Ronke Ademiluyi who is an award-winning fashion icon with huge commitments in positioning Nigeria as a formidable force in the leading other top nations in the world's fashion industry, explained a lot more.

"The Hub is a collaboration between His Majesty and my organization, Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria," she elaborated." And it was set up to empower women and youth and to also increase the production capacity of artisans in Ife and Osun state as a whole. If you listen to Osun, it says Osun ilu Aro, which means Osun is the home of dye. The art of indigo dye on clothing using the Elu leaf actually started in Ife by Orunmila who was inspired by Olodumare and this you can find in the book of IFA."

The Adire has become a global fashion statement and celebrities from all over the world wear it so we see this hub as adding to the global awareness of the Adire textile something that His Excellency the Gov of Ogun State is at the forefront of doing.

"The Hub is Phase one of a cultural center that is going to be located on 30,000 sq metres of land gifted to the center by His Majesty."

What is the Adire Textile Hub all about, we asked her?

"The Production hub is only 10 percent of the Cultural Center which we aim to build and the center will include facilities like an African Fashion Museum, a Digital Library, Ife Art World, an Aso Oke Pavilion to mention a few. 

In terms of mass productions of the textiles, we are going to be working with over 300 artisans increasing their capacity to produce."

"As I mentioned earlier, the Hub is a collaboration between His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife and my organization, for the development and capacity building and wealth creation of artisans in Ife and it is being funded by His Majesty," she explained.

How about the series of Training and Workshops, going on there now?

"The Hub is phase one of a cultural center that His Majesty and I are building on 30,000 square meters of land."

"The hub will benefit the local artisans who will be working with us. The hub will benefit young people who want to train in the craft of Adire making, as we started our 1st training program on the 8th of March in celebration of International Women's Day where we offered training to 100 young women.

The hub will also benefit students studying Textiles and Design to use for their industrial training program."

Why focus on Adire Fabric? “It is because it is the most popular Nigerian fabric. It is recognized as a timeless piece and it allows designers to communicate, to tell their stories through the fabric they use."

"Back in the 1960s during the civil war in Nigeria, Adire became an iconic symbol for the peace conference settlement and was seen as a symbol of peace and freedom."

"Already Adire is being used by the new generation of African and western designers to make contemporary pieces and our plan is to keep working with them to create designs they can use for their collections."

"Our contemporary designers use the new Adire which is the Adire on silk, chiffon, satin, organza to make beautiful pieces.. So, yes we will be working with other fabrics aside from the normal cotton and brocade."

The Hub now has a free training program every 3 months. To train people interested in the craftsmanship of Adire for free and this is being sponsored by His Imperial Majesty The Ooni of Ife.

The hub is also going to be working with students from across the Nation to use as an IT center. Various universities abroad have also indicated an interest in sending some of their design students to Ife to benefit from the free Adire training.

"On the day of the opening of the Adire Oodua Textile Hub, His Majesty actually participated in the workshop and made a tie-dye piece himself."

"And we are just under a month old and have rolled out over 100 different designs."

"A few designers from various parts of Nigeria have visited the hub to place orders for their summer collections.".




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