In a bid to promote Made in Nigeria products, Nigeria’s literary icon, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has opened an official Instagram page to kick off a project to ‘Wear Nigerian’ brands.
The renowned author who is known for her unique style says she has been tasked by her nieces to open an official Instagram page to promote the project. Hear her:
“The Nigerian government’s disastrous economic policies have led to a reduction in the value of the naira and therefore in disposable income, a change in values, a disorientation of the middle class, and most of all, to a debilitating sense of uncertainty.
“If we are to grasp for a silver lining, then the ‘Buy Nigerian to Grow The Naira’ rhetoric is one.
“In that spirit, I recently decided to wear mostly Nigerian brands for my public appearances. (Before, by the way, President Buhari declared ‘Made in Nigeria dress’ days.)
“In the past few weeks, I’ve bought more Nigerian brands than I ever have in the past. I’ve discovered new names. I’ve been filled with admiration for the women and men running their businesses despite the many challenges they face. I’m particularly interested in ‘inward-looking’ brands, those for whom dressing Nigerian women is as important as other goals.
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“I’ve changed quite a few dodgy zippers, been disappointed by some poor quality fabrics, and been impressed by some detail-oriented finishing. Overall, I love the clothes, their cut, their whimsy, their color, their flair, their ability to make me feel like myself. Their makers, from designer to tailor to button-fixer to okada-delivery-person, deserve to be supported.
“At the suggestion of my very au fait nieces Chisom and Amaka – who think Aunty is a hilarious luddite dinosaur (and they have a point, sadly) – I am now on Instagram at chimamanda_adichie documenting my ‘Wear Nigerian’ project.”
Just recently in an interview with the Daily Show host, Trevor Noah, in New York, Chimamanda reiterated that she thinks of herself as a Nigerian who lives in America, an immigrant in the U.S.
“My sensibilities were largely shaped by Nigeria, I didn’t come into the U.S. until I was 19. There’s a kind of distance it affords me when I look at the U.S,” she said.
Speaking on Pan-Africanism, when asked if her novel, Americanah, is a Pan-Africanist book, Adichie explained what Pan-Africanism means to her.
“I think myself politically as Pan-African. And for me, that means I care about what’s happening in Kenya, I care about the people in Bahia, Brazil, I care about Afro-Colombia, because there’s a familiarity there to something i feel connected to.”
Adichie also notes that for the diaspora as a whole, our common identity isn’t solely based on our skin color.
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“African-American history didn’t start on a slave ship, it started in Africa, I believe there are cultural traditions that have been passed down, and diluted, but it’s still there,” she says.