From Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti


On March 4, 2024, the Adire Ekiti Hub was launched in Ado-Ekiti, by the wife of the Ooni of Ife,Olori Oluronke Ogunwusi. It’s an initiative of the  wife of Governor Biodun Oyebanji, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji. The hub is basically about Adire fabric making, which means “tie and dye.” Adire is produced by the Yoruba and the local material comes in various beautiful designs.

The hub aims at providing empowerment and making many unemployed male and female youths, young widows become job creators rather than job seekers while its production in the state will help to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the people and also create a vibrant local fabrics market that will turn Ekiti into a destination of choice for Adire business.

A total of 200 beneficiaries drawn from Ekiti Central Senatorial District immediately began a one-week training at the hub. Two batches of 200 participants each drawn from Ekiti North and Ekiti South senatorial districts commenced training the following week taking the total number of beneficiaries to 600.

Mrs. Oyebanji said the Adire Hub would benefit the state in the areas of provision of sustainable livelihoods, promotion of entrepreneurship, creation of opportunities for economic empowerment and preservation of cultural heritage in the “Land of Honour.

“The opening of the Adire Ekiti Hub marks the beginning of a new chapter for the people of the state which holds the promise of long term benefits for the beneficiaries, local economy and building a brighter future for the coming generations.

“It represents a platform for creativity, skill development, and collaboration. It is a symbol of our commitment to nurturing talent, fostering innovation and building a brighter future for the people of Ekiti State.

“Through this initiative, we envision a community of skilled artisans, vibrant entrepreneurs, and a thriving Adire industry that contributes to the growth and prosperity of our state.”

Governor Oyebanji charged beneficiaries to make use of the opportunity offered by the  scheme, which included self sustenance, productivity and becoming job creators rather than job seekers: “Provision of palliatives cannot solve Nigeria’s problems.

“Government cannot give everybody employment; it is good to be educated, your education will prepare you to do better in whatever area of life you find yourself so, don’t see this as a share of the national cake. The challenges we have with programmes like these will be put behind you to ensure that you overcome them.

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“We came on the mantra of continuity and shared prosperity and it was not an accident. I have no doubt in my mind that prosperity is possible in Ekiti and it can be shared to everybody. But good things don’t come cheap, what is lacking in Ekiti is platform and access to opportunities.

“Those are the things that have kept us down, we have no platform, nobody to promote us. We are educated but we are poor. When people are educated, they shouldn’t be poor; education should be a licence to prosperity. What we are doing today is that we are providing access and opportunities and those are the two things you need to succeed. So, when you have those two things, the sky is your limit.

“We are going to hand-hold you, to train you and not to leave you alone because that is the problem of many government interventions. We are going to monitor you to the level that you will become independent and become employers of labour. If we do 200 per senatorial district, that is 600 (across the state) and you can now know the multiplier effects.

“A time is coming when all of you will not be able to meet up with the demands (for your product), that is what I want to see. By the time we are doing one year anniversary of this project, we will call you back to tell your success stories.”

Olori Ogunwusi said: “Adire is a major part of the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people. It can be used as an instrument of job creation, wealth creation, capacity development and skills acquisition. I want to commend the First Lady for the Adire Ekiti initiative and I am ready to lend my support and expertise.”

Chief Executive Officer, Nike Art Foundation, Chief Nike Okundaye, described Adire Ekiti as “the next big thing that will happen in the country.” Represented by Mrs. Nneka Moses of Goge Africa, she stressed her readiness to assist in ensuring growth of the hub to prominence and a springboard for empowerment in local craft.

The Adire Ekiti Hub building and workshop was donated by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who said: “I want to charge you all the beneficiaries that you should make the best use of what you will learn because you cannot tell how far you will go.”

One of the beneficiaries,Tola Faweya, said: “I and other beneficiaries are grateful for this opportunity. I have been looking forward to it but coming here has broadened my horizon about the nitty-gritty of Adire production.

“I have learnt a lot and I am ready to put what I have learnt into practice to better my life. We are also happy with the governor’s promise to assist in setting us up to see us grow in the business.”

Present at the launching included the state governor, Biodun Oyebanji, his wife, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, Olori Oluronke Ogunwusi, Founder/ Chief Executive Officer of Nike Art  Foundation, Chief Nike Okundaye, who was represented by Mrs Nneka Moses of Goge Africa, representatives of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti,  the immediate past Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, State Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Prof  Rasaki Ojo Bakare, Commissioner for Information, Hon Taiwo Olatunbosun, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Peju Babafemi and Director General, Bureau of Tourism Development,  Ekiti State, Amb. Wale Ojo-Lanre.