Clothing is a basic human need. Clothes shield our privacy and protect our bodies from the elements. Clothes are also a form of expression and conveyor of identity, which is why wardrobes are an investment more than vanity.
Nigeria is a country of culture-rich, flamboyant, colourful people. Weekends are packed with social events; many as extravagant as fashion shows.
Clothing is not just a human need in Nigeria. It is social currency. Inevitably, dress makers are always in demand; more so during festive seasons. These make dress making a valued skill; a realisation that is thrust upon many tailors with physical shops.
A natural inquiry follows:
Will you leverage this skill by training others?
Many tailors plan to train others. Some others, on the other hand, arrive at that decision by reason of external factors. Asake Oge Fashion School happened in response to a cascade of events that would be story for another day. Today let’s talk about 5 things I learnt while teaching others the science of sewing and art of dressmaking.
1. Errands Are Currency:
Aunty, I see say you dey do tailor. I wan make you teach my daughter. Fees? Aah! Aunty you funny o! She go dey do small small work for you.
2. Teachers Are Slaves:
How much do you pay in school fees?
It is not enough. Yes, the monetary value you just said doesn’t matter. It is not enough.
- Full adult humans expressed desire to learn sewing.
- Same adult humans paid and chose class timing.
- Pray tell: why did these adult humans expect to be begged to put in work learning?
3. Traffic is a Hardworking Villain:
No matter how early my students left their homes or offices, they rarely ever got to class in time.
A tanker broke down. Two cars hit themselves. A container of 5 million cars were unleashed from Apapa port that afternoon in rush hour…
All day. Every day.
4. Don’t Believe Customers In Dire Straits:
What do you mean by your hands are full? Aren’t these junior tailors everywhere? See what that lady sewed! Asake abeg give her my cloth for me.
In fact! Hey, excuse me… You sewed that; right? Don't mind your Oga. I want this aso-ebi….
How it ended:
5. You’ll be proud:
It will frustrate you everyday. But you'll watch your students grow everyday. Your head will swell like bread that's been dipped in tea. And a warm fuzzy chesty thingy will follow... So you'll look forward to the next day... EVERY DAY.
Do you run a fashion school? What's your experience been like?