By Tony Nezianya
A maiden Anambra Fashion Expo, ‘’Afe 2022’’ was staged at the newly built International Convention Centre (ICC), Awka on September 16.
This is the first of its kind in these parts of the country. The closest state to have hosted such a show was the Garden city of Port Harcourt, which has for a long time not been held.
According to the organisers, the Awka Show has been described as a huge success, indeed a hit.
This is as attested by a Public Relations Consultant and brands specialist of Brand Aristotle Consulting, Mike Obiajulu Meze, who has predicted that the show will become an annual feature in Awka.
‘’This is more so because the show has got a permanent home in the ICC, the right hotels to host guests from far and wide as well as those to come from abroad.
‘’Added to these facilities is the virgin Anambra State International Airport, Umueri an Anchor project with multiple opportunities to attract major sustainable development initiatives.
‘’This is sure enough to assure of safe arrival and departure of guests from anywhere around the globe,’’ noted an acclaimed Photographer of show Joe Nwabrije.
However, the big surprise is the fact that it has taken a youngster, the daughter of the current Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, and Ms Adaora Soludo, an Economist/Fashionista to unlock this potential waiting to be tapped.
The ICC is one of three major legacy projects coming from the immediate past administration of Gov. Willie Obiano.
They are the Airport, the ICC and the FIFA standard Stadium project delivered in Awka by Governor Willie Obiano.
Adaeze, a fashion designer, told newsmen shortly after the show that It was a clear show of talented brands from diverse areas in the South East, Nigeria, with items that can compete globally.
The organization was top-notch, a fusion of food and fashion. Those who thronged the venue were there to soak in the architectural wonder of the facility as well as the culinary details and fashion on offer.
Anambra State Governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, who was a special guest of honour at the event, noted that the theme of the show accorded with the promotion of made-in-Nigeria products as a job creator and economic catalyst.
‘’The Anambra Fashion Expo, AFE 2022 is a special effort by Governor Soludo’s daughter, Ms Adorah Soludo, to promote indigenous fabrics.
Governor Soludo is known for his love and promotion of ‘akwete’ fabrics, which revealed it is usually designed and sewn by his daughter as well as shoes made in Ogbunike.
“Our primary job is to promote anything made in Anambra. When my daughter was 12 years old, she insisted that we must buy her a sewing machine.
‘’Little did we know that she will end up being a fashion person; notwithstanding her degrees in Economics.
“The message here is that we parents should encourage our children to take up whatever they have passion for. So, I congratulate them for the effort they made in putting this together.”
“I’m impressed because not a single kobo of Anambra money entered into this project. Even this hall, they paid for it. I’m amazed coming here.”
“For us, it is about made in Anambra, South East or Nigeria. I think in time, we will begin to talk about Nigerian fabrics globally”
“The organizers of this event represent passion and creativity. Look at the shoe that I wear, all made in Anambra. I’ll get advice from the organizers to see how we can help to promote this industry. By next year, we will support this project. This is the Anambra that we should be celebrating”.
Governor Soludo also used the occasion to appreciate his predecessor, Gov. Obiano for the ICC structure.
“May I use this opportunity to appreciate my predecessor in office for putting this kind of edifice in place. We will do everything to make it functional by attracting economic activities here”.
The Governor again reassured the audience of the vision of building a liveable and prosperous homeland in Anambra State.
“We are working very hard to make ndi Anambra proud, to build that liveable and prosperous homeland. We will create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive so that our youths can be empowered,” concluded the Governor.
Indeed the show has come to stay.