by Ayoyinka Falade
It is said that when you educate a man, you educate an individual. But when you educate a woman, you educate a nation. So it is no secret that women are an important part of the growth of any society that desires true growth. This was what Vlisco Women’s Month initiative aimed to celebrate when they decided to take the whole month of April to celebrate women in all their diversity following the International Women’s Day celebration. During the whole month of March, Vlisco honoured the outstanding achievements of West and Central African women with Vlisco Women’s Month by identifying and rewarding those who inspire others to realize their dreams. The 2015 event, interestingly themed “Live the Dream” is sequel to the 2013 “Be the Dream” and 2014 “Dare to Dream” themes. The finale of the month of celebration was an evening event that held at the Federal Palace Hotel, VI, Lagos on the 26th of April was an all women’s event that included an all female live band, performance by a female violinist, an all female dance performance by DNMT dance group, and a spoken word performance by the ever graceful Kate Henshaw that emphasized the strength of women.
The evening took off with a generous serving of sumptuous finger foods and cocktails. Hosted by Chigul who wore a dress made out of a Vlisco fabric and Chris who wore a dress in the Jumping Horse Fabric, the event was also used as a medium to graduate the students of the Vlisco Tailor Academy: An integrated tailoring education program for 15 talented, underprivileged and motivated girls to reach their financial autonomy.
Certificates were presented to the graduates with applause from the excited audience. The three finalists of the Vlisco Fashion Fund Award were announced and the winner was awarded with the couture master classes, a start-up fashion business package and funding. The event as well served as an unveiling of the new line of Vlisco fabrics; the Super-wax capsule collection that all have traditional and interesting names and some of them were given to guest who answered questions asked by the MCs.
The new Vlisco Ambassador for the year 2015 for Nigeria was announced at the end of the evening, as a tribute to women who have the courage to turn their dreams into reality, despite the challenges they face in their daily lives. Public votes allowed the nominees emerge winner of the Vlisco’s brand ambassador for 2015. These inspirational women were nominated for the Vlisco Women’s Month Award: Tolulope Odunayo Sangosanya, Itoro Eze-Anaba, and Akande Adedotun. The ambassadors will play an important role in various Vlisco brand activities throughout the year and, more important, they will further inspire women in the country via activities in and outside their network. The nominees of the award were presented after fashion shows of superb designs by Sinmize, Temple Outfits and House of Jewels with Akande Adedotun emerging winner.
Akande Adedotun is the Founder and Proprietress of Patrick Speech and Languages Centre for individuals living with autism and advocates for early intervention of same, emerged winner of this year’s Vlisco’s women’s Month Award.