There is a new tune playing out tonight…
we the children have found ourselves scrambling
home else we lose sight of the very last moon light …
get home safe we bade ourselves, still lingering
in our young hearts the jolly tales the great dying tree spoke
may we sleep yet keep these little bits of memory awake
Growing up, as a young Nigerian one thing that remained constant was new faces…. Everywhere we moved to had something new; maybe the oversized pimples hanging just above the store keeper’s face across the street, or the wicked aromas from the different calabar and igbo restaurants forming a mortal contest over our nostrils enough to make you turn down your mother’s meal without batting an eyelid.
The mannerisms always change, accents within the same language, skin contrast….new rude words, new crushes and of course enemies, a list of people and things to dislike and reasons to never want to come back to the last place. Most engaging was the dressing… we would look down from the balcony and a seamless fashion showdown would always be going on, the streets always alive with something intriguing, flattering and crude. Our roots are something we wear unconsciously around, it’s possible to experience an entire culture just staring through the window of a 3 storey building on Baale street Agboju LAGOS. The fusion of colours would always leave you daunting, as bodies pressed against each other, the clash of prints, brands and lifeless elements would always create an engaging visual. “You can tell she is Yoruba don’t you see the way she carries herself”
“why do you always have to ask how much first… these igbo people sef na wa oh?” “Buy me kilishi when next you coming back from Jos” certain norms and feels define the Nigerian culture, books are written yearly in honour of the diversity that we bring together every day, every night on the streets.
We have over 371 tribes in Nigeria from the Yorubas to the Tivs one thing we as Nigerians are proud of would always be the splendor in our colourful outfits, We have absolutely no chill when it comes to flaunting our cultural designs. Our present age is heavily influenced by westernization and our interest in the African outlook is gradually declining. I stumbled across an argument recently on instagram “whether we Nigerians appreciate our cultural ensemble as much as our sister nations do to theirs’ there is always the lingering question of how much of a Nigerian or African any one of us really can be or if we would ever decide to return to the old ways of doing things, would we ever look at modern clothes with less zeal or reject a Balmain piece for a locally made ero and buba?. Would we ever be open to fusing our African heritage with the modern pieces we wear? How about challenging the world with the inspiration lingering within our cultures? I learnt it would be blatant hypocrisy to point fingers; rather inspire a need to bask in the glow of the rich culture within our veins and how they surround us to a point of suffocation. Nativity aims to use visuals and the blending of unconventional pieces to inspire a block of new generation Africans ready to not just reinvent how the world sees Africa but create an exciting way to pass down the tales of the great dying tree.
Written By Daniel Onyedikachi Obasi
Styling and Creative Direction: Daniel Onyedikachi Obasi
Photography: Chitti Tade
Editing with Vsco Film 00: Daniel Onyedikachi Obasi
Make Up: Tolu Onigele
Models: Busayo Okojie, Ifeoma Nwobu, Blessing Dike
Styling Assistants: Olaide and temilade
Dresses from Heartdictions
Gele and head wraps and Accessories from Olaide designs