Popularly known as a reference for dubbing original merchandise: Made in Aba for the longest time had become synonymous to fake.
While this could be argued to a substantial level, Made in Aba goods are getting a face lift thanks to the present Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
As part of his mission in office, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is seeking to revamp the state as a centerpiece for international development with the hope that this will instill a sense of pride in the Igboman and his abilities to create despite the absence of supportive infrastructure.
Part of the Governor's missions is to reform the commercial hub of Abia state by updating its infrastructure and social amenities while upgrading the system for favorable commercial exploits.
With on going Made in Aba pop ups and a marketing campaign that shows off the authenticity of the people and their craft, this is a great move by the Governor.
As minuscule as this might be, the growth in development this face life for Made in Aba goods can bring to the city and the country at large should not be overlooked. The Nigerian Fashion Industry is subtly driving the #BuyNigerian movement despite production being one of the key setbacks for the industry, to see a whole state commit to improving production infrastructure is uplifting.
While there is a lot of work to do to re-brand and instill trust in Made in Aba goods, it is important to own the creativity coming out from Abia state. The presence of world standard craftsmanship and experience cannot be ignored but to gain the market respect the reformation of Made in Aba is seeking, It is important to own the branding and make it more indigenous.
The reference to Made in Aba goods as fake has always come from the branding, where your humble search for nice slippers will lead you down a line of Fuccis and Nokes in place of Guccis and Nikes. As with the growing #BuyNigerian movement now is a good time as any to have these local craftsmen brand their products to fit into the current upsurge of homegrown brands.
Nonetheless we applaud Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for keying into the growth of the creative industry by investing and believing in homegrown craftsmanship.
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