Metropole Magazine

 
 
Today's Weather: Abuja NG: Partly Cloudy, Day 360|Night 260

            
23 Dec

 

Fashion shows are quite common in Abuja. They occur almost every weekend in the city. Established and up and coming designers hold these shows to show off their latest collection. Some are well attended by the who’s who of the city, others are never even heard of. It takes a lot to make these shows stand out.

 

From the sleepless nights to putting together a team, a fashion show requires a lot of work, time, energy and resources to transform it from a dream to reality.

 

In come the A squared network, a fashion production and consultancy firm. They’re a couple of talented models who broke into the Abuja scene in 2009 and decided they are here to stay. Mr. Andrew Ogbechi and Mr. Ayowole Ohurugu are co partners and creative directors of the group. They have created fashion shows for Duchess H Couture and Homto Dokpesi.

 

Together with Aisha Abubakar Luxury Designs, a fashion house based in Abuja, they recently hosted a fashion show at the Bolingo Hotel, Abuja. The theme was ‘Colours Out of the Desert.’ See below for pictures from the event.







 




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19 Dec

 

 The Yuletide is about fancy decorations, having fun, sharing gifts, and many more jolly activities. This, unfortunately, is not the case for thousands of people forced into Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the country.

Between January and November of 2014, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported there were 700,000 registered IDPs in the country due to the Boko Haram attacks mostly in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.

To aid in providing relief materials to the victims of insurgency, Ms. Modupe Odele, a lagos-based lawyer, along with her friends started a fundraiser where they raised some money for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State. Though she was happy with helping out with the IDPs in Maiduguri, Ms. Odele was not satisfied. She wanted to get a more personal experience with the IDPs.

She tweeted about it on the social networt, Twitter. Someone from Yola town in Adamawa state responded, saying that he would love to be on board and could help arrange for her stay if she ever was interested in raising funds for the IDPs in Yola. Ms. Odele agreed, and she and some of her friends went to Yola town to see what the situation was like.

There was only one active IDP camp at the time she visited with her friends. Over 400,000 people were displaced, and only 5% of these agreed to stay in the government camp located in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Yola. The others chose to squat with relatives or family friends. To them, life in camp seemed like a treacherous idea.

One discovery Ms. Odele made while in Yola was that most of the displaced persons were children.

“There were so many children,” she said, “over 2,000 of them.”

 Based on that information, a light bulb flashed in Ms. Odele head and she thought, why not do something unforgettable for the children?

“If you give these children a gift, they would always remember ‘at some point during Christmas, somebody gave me this shiny item.’ It would put a lasting impression in the minds of the kids,” she added.

Ms. Odele gathered her team and #SantaGoesToYolawas created.

The team split themselves into two groups, one in Abuja and the other in Lagos. The plan was to use social media to reach out to as many people as possible to donate children’s toys, coloring books, stuffed animals, soccer balls, chocolates, biscuits, balloons and other presents.

“It’s not religious, we’re just taking advantage of the Christmas period. So we are giving them stuff they normally won’t have access to in the camp just to make them feel happy during Christmas,” she added.

“They’re still children regardless of what they’re going through, and they should feel like children,” Ms. Odele further stated.

Dr. Chijoke Kaduru, a freelance doctor in the Public Health sector, is #SantaGoesToYola’s Abuja representative. For the past few weeks he has been providing information to interested and charitable folks in the capital city on how, and where to donate to the course.

Last weekend, Dr. Kaduru and the team met at Jabi Lake, Abuja, and collected several gift items from Abuja residents.

“The response we got was really surprising,” Dr. Kaduru said after the donations.

“I’ve learned not to underestimate the generosity of people,” he added. “It’s given me a little more faith in people, in Nigerians.”

Ms. Odele said that so far, they have been able to get enough gifts for 500 children. Their goal, however, is to provide presents for 2,500 children in the camp. The group will stop receiving presents tomorrow, 20th December, and will within Christmas week take the gift packs to children in the IDP camp. 

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