Veteran Yoruba tailor and project facilitator, Mr. Kabiru Durojaiye, (middle), with the trainees at the training centre in Lagos.

Peter Uzoho

To preserve the ancient Yoruba heritage of tailoring, the Osun State Government recently launched a social enterprise project through the training and empowerment of new generation master-crafts men and women for the fast dying skill.

Tagged: ‘Ijinle (authentic) Project”, the programme is in partnership with Mr Kabiru Durojaiye, a 56-year-old man with over 30 years vintage tailoring experience, who serves the Nigerian elite and wants to pass on the skills to the youth.

The project will train, equip and setup 15 master-craftsmen and women from Osun.

Specifically, the project which is envisioned as a ‘Train-the Trainer’ concept with a training centre in Lagos seeks to preserve the fast-dying master-craftsmanship used in producing vintage Yoruba pieces like the traditional Agbada, Kembe, Agadashi, Danshiki, among other conventional wears of the people of the South-west Nigeria.

Conceived by the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and the Chairman of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Wale Adeeyo, the facilitators of the programme seek to resuscitate the dying craft especially with young people by placing the most willing and capable of Osun youths with requisite tailoring skills under an action-packed internship programme for five months.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Enterprise and Wealth Creation, Hon. Demola Adetoyese, said the initiative was to further strengthen the Human Capital Development Drive of the Aregbesola administration by providing job and wealth creation platforms for the people of Osun.

“The idea is that after the internship training in Lagos, successful trainees will join other creative fashion entrepreneurs at a world class ethnic fashion show after which they will be settled in a production cluster in Osun with a business development presence in Lagos,” Adetoyese said. The veteran tailor and facilitator, Durojaiye, said he was willing to offer his expertise to the young men and women willing to learn the craft as part of his own contribution to help resuscitate the dying heritage of the Yorubas.