CREATIVITY and style were on display recently in Lagos as the latest batch of the Ameabi Integrated School of Art and Design, Lagos completed their training. At the graduation ceremony and fashion show last week, the 49 graduating students drawn from the Niger Delta region as part of the Amnesty Programme of the Federal Government, showcased their designs, crafts and other handiworks to the admiration of the guests that had thronged the Peninsula Hotel and Resort, Ajah, Lagos State for the event.
In a runway show that could rival that of any international catwalk, the students’ designs were displayed by models on the black carpet in different categories such as formal and traditional wear, bridal and evening wear, children and beach wear, casuals and accessories. Fabrics like lace and ankara featured prominently in many of the designs such as gowns, blouses, skirts, trousers and separates among others. Special recognition awards were also presented to the best graduating students.
The Managing Director of the school, Ibiba Don Pedro, in her remarks noted the graduation ceremony was a celebration of the lives of young people who have been empowered to make a difference in the Niger Delta as well as the nation as a whole: “to paint the Niger Delta red but not in a negative way but through creativity and innovative designs,” she said.
She stated that without the programme, a lot of the graduands would have ended up as ‘idle hands’ who would have become a nuisance to themselves and the society at large. “Some of these students were barely literate, some were quite weak and knew practically noting about designing or making an outfit but today, their designs can compete with those of designers anywhere,” she enthused.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Hon. Larry Pepple, (Technical Assistant to Hon. Kingsley Kuku), who represented Kuku, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, was full of praise for the work and designs of the graduating students. He commended the designs, stating that the attention to detail of the clothes and accessories he had seen on the runway was ‘phenomenal’. “I’ve attended other fashion shows and what I’ve seen here today is great especially the attention to detail which is phenomenal,” he said.
Spicing up the show were music and dance by local troupes such as the Ijaw Cultural Troupe and Kalabari troupe. New music sensation, Double-K also performed as well as AK.dot and Queen Hadiza.