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Monday, 1 May 2017

Elderstatesman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo Models For Ethelberts Clothing





The rarest quality, like they say in an epitaph is truth and the truth is; elderstatesman and former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo is selflessly humble and hospitably free and humility and freedom, no doubt go hand in hand, it’s only a humble person that can totally be free.
 
The man who’s known to have scored many first in careers traversing all walks of life would have been fulfilled in every areas of human interest as the octogenarian recently added, yet another amazing colour to an already spectacular life of great achievements.
 
The Owu high Chief displayed an exemplary sense of modesty when he accorded one of Nigeria’s passionate entrepreneurs of note the rare courtesy of business brotherhood. Look at the picture very well, OBJ was obligingly comfortable to associate with Emeka Oparah’s Ethelbert fashion as a way of encouraging his idea of revolutionizing the local tailoring initiative. The youngest old man, OBJ is the unofficial Face of Ethelberts Clothing, and the promising budding outfit has clothed other top Nigerians of immense values.  
 
The dynamically thorough and artistically talented Emeka Oparah is the newest whizkid burning with a desire to improve the proverbial Made in Aba fashion business. Oparah who’s a highly detribalized young man with 25 years of consistent communications practice spanning journalism, advertising, public relations, events, sponsorships and corporate social responsibility is the Vice President, Corporate Communications at Airtel Nigeria.

In one of his charitable ideas to give back to the society especially tailoring, his new venture, Oparah is looking for a way to helping suffering local tailors, “
Made in Aba!!! Fabrics. Threads. Needles. Machines. Clips. Zippers. Buttons. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is made in Aba except, perhaps, the tailors.  Even the tailors can't access soft loans. Electricity supply is chronically epileptic. The tailors are demoralized and their works poorly priced due to poor quality designs and finishing, and acutely poor customer experience. Ever wondered how many tailors will see God? Go to Aba!!! It's time we got real and start being true to ourselves. We need to help the tailors to reposition themselves, repackage their products and re-engineer their processes. Chief Michael Okpara, then Premier of Eastern Nigeria, sent young and sharp Igbos to Europe to learn various trades including tailoring. My Uncle Awusaku Tailors (The Peacocks praised him in their epic song Ediqansa), was among the tailors trained in London! In actual fact, he made my father's wedding suit back in 1966. I still keep the suit and the nicely done packaging. So yes, Made in Aba is possible. We need to equip the tailors with modern skills, help them with funding and teach them managerial skills. Then, we should set up factories to manufacture tailoring accessories and textiles. One of the reasons I got into tailoring is to disprove the myth that only the illiterate or not well educated can be tailors. Ask my brother, BeVoli Tailors, one of the best in Africa! Made in Aba and, by extrapolation, Made in Nigeria, is achievable. For now it only exists in our fertile imagination. Watch out for details of a 2-day training Ethelberts Clothing in collaboration with The Ethelbert Foundation is organizing in Aba for tailors in the 3rd Quarter of 2017. A new Nigeria is possible”, he reeled out the blueprint of his proposed mutually beneficial project.
 
 Emeka Oparah whose Ethelbert Clothings has branches in London, Ghana and more to come graduated with BA (Hons.) top of his class in Mass Communications from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1990 and holds a post-graduate Diploma in International Public Relations. His career covers stints in Patine Communications (1991-1992); Candid Communications (1992-1992); Richland Communications (1992-1994); Cadbury Nigeria (1994-2002) and Airtel Nigeria (2002-2015).

A member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA); International Association of Business Communicators (IABC); Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), he has attended numerous courses locally and internationally in Communications, Management and Leadership.
 
Tunde Moshood
 

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