Lagos State Government has made its plans known to begin the resuscitation of moribund Ankara textile industries in the state, with the aim of giving a face-lift to the ‘Ankara’ fabric, which has gained popularity in the global fashion scene and to provide job opportunities for millions of unemployed youths.
This was disclosed on Tuesday in Lagos, at a press conference, to herald the forthcoming Lagos Ankara Carnival 2017, slated for September 2-9, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
According to the chief host of the event, Mr. Olawale Oladunjoye, ‘Ankara fabric was primarily associated with African mainly because of the tribal-like patterns motives, adding that since its ascension in the global fashion, much talk has focused on whether or not African fabric is authentically African giving the fact that the fabric was in fact originally made in Europe.
“Ankara was formerly known as Dutch wax print. It was originally manufactured by the Dutch for the Indonesian textile market. But by design, these prints garnered significantly more interest in West Africa than in Indonesia. Henceforth, African print was born,” Oladunjoye exlpained.
He added that the opportunity the fabric has got reflected much in the African culture and lifestyle, pointing out that the Dutch then decided to focus on West Africa.
“Ankara, as a fabric is well known in Nigeria and its neighboring countries loke Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Benin and Senegal,” stating that its history dated back to the 17th century before the coming of the colonial masters, saying the fabric was then known a ‘Wax.’
Oladunjoye further hinted that the Lagos Ankara Carnival 2017 would be an avenue to facilitate the exposure of Nigerian designers to the world, which he highlighted, would also be an annual event with the capacity of generating many profitable companies and providing a variety of jobs to millions of Nigerians, especially the youths, which would in turn reduce the high youth unemployment rates.
He then segmented the forthcoming carnival into three parts which are ‘Ankara’ exhibition, award presentation to the ‘Omidan Ankara’ and the night of carnival, noting that the high point of the carnival would be the emergence of
“The face of Ankara Lagos,” who will initiate Ankara related pet projects aimed at development of skills, cultural re-orientation and learning, empowering of the youths and producing entrepreneurs in Ankara fashion industry.
Prizes to be won at the carnival, according to Mr. Oladunjoye include, a brand new KiaPicanto car (as first prize and one year Lagos Ankara Ambassador), one million naira (second prize) and five hundred thousand naira (as third prize) for winners in their different categories, adding that other consolation prizes would also be won at the event.
“We are confident that the advent of Lagos Ankara carnival will strengthen the Ankara local market and open Lagos up to the world fashion stage,” he averred.