It Is a Challenge for Our Jobless Youths

By: ‘Dinobi Ofuonyebi, Akure, Ondo State.

I refer to your cover story, Stitches of Fortune, Making Money From Fashion, TELL, January 5, 2015. Not only has the fashion and design business received knocks of apathy from Nigerians; other jobs such as the local cloth weaving, automobile mechanical works, the blacksmith, the pot-makers, piggery, poultry, other various artisan activities and others are looked down upon as jobs for the less privileged. Even production of furniture materials has been jettisoned for foreign importation. Now even our women and sometime men’s hair-do materials are now imported! We import all clothing materials but we thank God that our local aso oke and adire clothing for weddings and other important ceremonies has remained a source of Nigerian cultural pride particularly in Yoruba land and have defied all odds, to add value, quality and revenue to the nation’s development and economy. This reminds us of the dire need to return to the basics; our traditional roots of economic emancipation that was forgotten.

Little wonder why the unemployment market has grown to produce battalions of jobless graduates and youths, who could not transform the value of their knowledge and education into any of the local endeavours to generate self employment, but only waiting on government and the private sectors which are now folding up on daily basis instead of expanding.

We thank God for the likes of the MUDIs, the Fawehinmis, among others who have taken fashion and design to another level as sources of financial and image breakthrough. Their actions have opened the eyes of the modern day youths that white-collar jobs are not the only source of employment opportunities. Hence, our youths should take the challenge for creativity to make a better living from the hitherto abandoned traditional and local labour engagements. We must all face the reality that the private sectors and governments at all levels in the country have failed in their constitutional responsibility to provide jobs to the unemployed. Even as at today, workers are being disengaged or laid off from their jobs for one flimsy excuse or another. It is time to take our destiny into our hands and brains! May God bless our country, Nigeria!

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