By Shola Akingboye, 24th February 2021
Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Monday launched an Adire textile production hub; an age-long cultural attire of the Yorubas that emanated from Ile-Ife is now built on a 30,000 square meters of land as an industrial hub with a vision to empower the youths through the revival of local fabrics, courtesy the visionary king, the Ooni.
While declaring the hub opened within the premises of the Ife Ground Resorts, Ile-Ife, Ooni Ogunwusi revealed that the ancient Adire textile is an agelong tradition of Ife, from where he said it was taken to Abeokuta by the Egbas and other parts of the world.
“Our vision is to empower our youths because that is the way to go, if we empower them they won’t be interested in protests and other things that might disrupt the system. A lot of them will be productively engaged and I am happy to inform you that we are doing that already.
“We are working with the textile department of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and other tertiary institutions across the country as well as Yoruba speaking countries like Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela among others.
“This innovation is a clear message to all that lots can be achieved through local technology and intelligence. Look at this whole place, it was built and decorated through local intelligence whole these fine touches were done with local fabrics (Adire).
“This is the beginning and I can assure you that we have mapped out plans to take it across the entire country and beyond.” The Ooni said.
Ooni on twitter
In another twist, the Ooni equally expatiates his drive to industrialised Ile-Ife, using Aje festival as a yardstick.
The king took to his twitter handle and twitted thus:
Aje Festival celebration remains one of the significant obligations of preserving and upholding the sacred heritage our Ancestors gave to us.
In line with the mission of the 2021 Aje Festival, I have therefore launched ‘Ooni Adire Fashion Textile Factory’ with a mandate of supporting, uplifting and equipping emerging young entrepreneurs with greater knowledge of Adire.
Advancing my unwavering commitment towards the creation of textile industrialization that is fit for purpose, integrating a new cultural textile economy that speaks to the heart of ‘Made in Nigeria’ as well as unlocking significant values for innovative Adire business models with the use of modern technology that are inherent in our young populations.
Together, all our actions matter. My deep belief in our vibrant young populations in Nigeria and across Africa remain the epitome of my Royal mission. All of you should be rest assured of my devotion and loyalty as you remain my greatest asset.
I hear you on a daily basis and I see through the depth of your rich resilience entrepreneurial spirit, creative fineness, and deep-rooted aspirations to build the socioeconomic space that is fit for purpose.
Through the Ooni Adire Fashion Textile Factory, which is one of my initiatives, I will surely be part of your success stories as we create economic mobility and accessibility for our nation through our culture.
Earlier in her address, Co-founder of the textile hub, Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, described the concept as a viable means of youth empowerment, cultural promotion and cultural exchange.
“His Majesty decided that we should launch this production hub during this year’s Aje festival because She is about wealth creation and entrepreneurship and textile hub aims to provide a lot of wealth creation opportunities for the local artisans in Ile-Ife who work with us and the hub will enable them to increase their production capacity and generate sustainable involved for themselves”
“Most important, His Majesty will also want the hub up engage in the use of sustainable practices, including researching and using dyes that are not harmful to the environment. He has emphasized that we make use of Elu leaf in Ile-Ife, which is also known as the indigo leaf as this is a resource that is yet to be tapped and can bring wealth creation to the local community.” Princess Ademiluyi said.