ARISE Fashion Week (AFW) yesterday got global attention by adding splendour to the city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with spectacular runway and music.
The event, held at the Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, was in commemoration of Nigeria’s Day at the ongoing World Expo 2020 and had in attendance, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who represented President, Muhammadu Buhari.
Fashion designers like Lisa Folawiyo, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Kenneth Ize, Onalaja, Ziva Lagos and Hudayya showcased dynamic creativity that celebrated the vibrancy of Nigerian fashion.
The atmosphere was further electrified with performances by Nigerian music superstar, D’banj and international act, Akon who brought the night to a memorable close.
President Buhari commended the organisers of the ARISE Fashion Week for showcasing Nigeria’s fashion and arts to the world, while describing his as a listening government that would ensure justice and equity for all Nigerians.
“I’m very glad to be here to witness another landmark achievement for the country: the first ARISE Fashion Week in Dubai. It is a city described as the Jewel of the Middle East where the best of Nigeria’s fashion and entertainment have come out in full force to celebrate our great country on this day that marks Nigeria’s Day at the Dubai Expo 2020.
“I’m here to support this initiative and celebrate all our young people around Nigeria and the world. We are here to celebrate the birth of Nigerian culture as we unleash the power of youth for a new positive image for Nigeria. That’s why we call on all young people to be law-abiding in whatever country they find themselves, to seek the power of their creativity and hard work to make the world a better place.
“They must eschew violence, drugs, cultism, fraud and other criminality and use their God-given talent to build a new world order. At the same time, as a listening government, we will do all we can to ensure equity and justice for all Nigerians against all forms of brutality.”
He added that his administration would continue to support youths through education, sports and sciences “as we create the enabling environment for tech-driven investment-led telecommunications-enabled creative economy and prepare our nation for the emerging new world.
The President also underscored the potentials of the creative sector to unlock Nigeria’s economy and increase employment opportunities for young people.
“The projections are promising, as the sector is expected to be worth over USD10 billion by the end of 2021, making a significant contribution to the nation’s GDP.
“This is further underlined by a recent report on Nigeria’s creative industry, which showed that the industry is positioned as the second largest employer and has the potential to produce 2.7 million new jobs by 2025.”
He added that the achievement of the sector was one that filled him with pride as it demonstrates the grit determination and natural talent that exists in the Nigerian polity, and that it had the potential to become the hub for exporting Nigeria’s culture.
Buhari also praised Afro-fusion artistes, Burna Boy and Wizkid who won Grammy awards last year.
“We salute all award-winning musicians bringing glory to Nigeria at the Grammys and other global events and urge them to continue to thrive…We are at the cusp of a revolution in entertainment production, creative talent and services. And my desire is to build a brighter future for coming generations.
“The ARISE Fashion Week is a great testament showing the world how we as Nigerians are working hard and constantly innovating to improve the lives of our youth and our people, while opening up our economy and encouraging foreign investment to ensure economic growth and progress for all citizens.”
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele was also at the event and he reiterated the Bankers Committee’s commitment to renovate the National Theatre in Lagos.
He further stressed that so far, about USD5 billion had been disbursed to support the creative industry initiatives in fashion, film, music and television.
The occasion saw the launch of ARISEPlay, the streaming platform from the THISDAY/ARISE Media Group dedicated to showing the best of African entertainment to the world. It recently partnered with the BBC Studios to deliver stories that are inspiring.
For the Chairman THISDAY/ARISE Media Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, AFW is relentless in promoting and projecting a reputable image of the country.
“Our generation will ensure that we build a Nigeria that can stand the test of time in 2050 when we become the populous economy of the world and those building blocks you can see in the power of creativity, technology and everything else. We are determined to tell the world that the time of Nigeria is here.”
Reputed as the most glamorous runway in Africa, AFW drew well-heeled personalities from Nigeria and UAE like Mr. Segun Ogunsanya of Airtel; former beauty queen and lawyer Helen Prest-Ajayi, as well as long-term partner of the show, supermodel Naomi Campbell, who opened the show with a two-piece attire for the designer Hudayya.