Contrary to the perception that young girls are mostly dependent on their parents, guardians or friends for financial support, several young female graduates have decided to make a difference by venturing into the fashion world.
Fashion designing basically connotes the art of creating clothing and accessories. Therefore the work of a fashion designer is to create garments based on consumer demand or their own creative vision, and consumers respond to those designs, ushering in new trends.
Some of the young entrepreneurs have shared their stories to encourage other young graduates and most importantly, redefine the perception, and repaint the pictures in an average Nigerian’s mind about young female graduates.
A graduate from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ugwuanyi Amarachi Guinevere, with the brand name, Evere_Creations, who started making clothes before she gained admission into the higher institution has established herself so well in the fashion world.
She said, “Everything starts with a dream, I didn’t just venture into sewing because I wanted to learn a trade, I always wanted to sew, so I had to register and I got coached by one of the best I could find.
“My biggest motivation is myself like I said, the dream just came, it all started as an imagination, a joke then nurtured into reality, I knew I had to push myself and I am still pushing.
“I love what I do, in fact, I can’t think of another thing, anytime I design fabric, it feels to me like I can do anything like I’m in control of something special and I don’t mind doing it for as long as I can.
“Considering the part of the world and the condition we found ourselves in, I feel really great, I mean I’m doing it the right way, in a place where no one wants to get it right anymore (if you know what I mean) I don’t feel different, because it’s something I always wanted to do so graduate or no graduate, it makes no difference to me.
A Physics graduate, Queeneth Adanna, with the brand name, Qyins Fashion world, said she ventured into fashion designing as a child when she used hand needles and threads to make clothes.
Queeneth is into making and designing clothes, bags, turbans, slippers with Ankara, leather or any other material. She perfected her fashion designing skill in the higher institution when she combined her studies with the training classes she enrolled herself into.
This made it possible for Queeneth to cater for herself in her final year in school.
Asked about her future plans as a physics graduate with a fashion designing skill, she said, “I love fashion so much. I will venture into it fully. I will work towards opening an International African Design Clothing industry, where both Africans and Foreigners can access their desired clothing. I fell so fulfilled.”
A graduate from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Enekwemchi Josephine, with the brand name Josemary Creations, said she started up her brand as an undergraduate in 2018. She said that as much as she designs shoes and bags for customers, she basically focuses on the dressmaking aspect.
Speaking further she said, “Actually, I love arts and crafts. I have tried learning bead making, hairdressing, make-up at different points in my life but I realised that I have a particular zeal and inclination towards fashion designing.
At times it gets exhausting and stressful but the joy and satisfaction come when you finish the work and see how beautiful it fits on your customer.
“I have a plan of building up a fashion school, where I can teach and also work, because the more I work, the more my skill gets refined.
“I think that as a graduate, being a fashion designer has given me an edge in the field. It makes me think more creatively and it has refined my skill.”
The government on the other hand has tried in several ways to make sure Nigerian youths learn at least a skill by fixing an entrepreneurship course in the higher institution school curriculum as a compulsory course of study.
The involvement of the Skill Acquisition Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members to utilise and equip themselves with the necessary skills needed to face society.
This is a call to young female graduates to equip themselves, realise the need for them to key into a skill. Getting adequate skill and the right empowerment as a young graduate is fundamental to strengthening women’s rights and enabling them to have control over their lives and exert influence in society.
The economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Gender equality and empowered women are catalysts for multiplying development efforts. Hence, the need to inculcate in the young female graduates, the needed relevant skills for societal growth.
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