The Curator, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Katsina, Hajiya Bintu Mohammed Sadiq, says, “a person’s dress culture has been identified as being their identity that sets them apart from others”.

She made this assertion while delivering a paper on the theme: “Nigerian Dress Culture”, on the occasion of the 2017 World Culture Day Celebration, organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) North-West Zone, Katsina, on Tuesday, 23rd May, 2017.

Hajiya Bintu Sadiq said that one’s dress culture is one’s identity that distinguishes one anywhere on the globe and gives one a sense of belonging in a world setting, adding that a person’s dress code gives people the first impression about the dresser and stands as the person’s passport to either respect or disdain.

This, she said, is because the way you dress is the way you would be addressed and that dressing gives a sense of pride and comportment, noting that attires, costumes and outfits add security to a person’s self-identification.

Hajiya Bintu averred that culture and dressing cannot be separated, saying that culture is subdivided into tangible and intangible elements, and that dressing is a tangible element of culture because it can be seen.

The curator noted that Nigeria, like other African nations, has diverse ethnic dresses, which are specially worn on occasions, such as, wedding ceremonies and cultural festivals and are also tools for identifying a people sharing the same heritage, affirming that these dresses are yet to be adopted by a large number of Nigerians as dress code for everyday living and therefore, called on the audience to imbibe the culture of patronizing Made-in-Nigeria dress.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Coordinator, NICO North-West Zone, Alhaji Ibrahim Lawal, stressed that Nigerian dress culture is faced with challenges resulting from Westernization and globalization, and that Nigerians sometimes shun our indigenous cultural mode of dressing in obvious preference for Western styles.

He observed that indecent dressing has become a norm rather than a cultural deviation, most especially by the youths, noting that the aforementioned reason adduced for the neglect of our indigenous dresses should be blamed on the absence of laws on national dress codes in public places and national events.

According to him, it was against this backdrop that the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), in 2010, submitted a memo at the National Council on Culture and Tourism (NCCT) seeking government approval to declare Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as Dress Nigeria Days, in order to boost our identity as a people as well as rejuvenate our moribund textile industries.

Alhaji Lawal also affirmed that many countries of the world use their culture to earn foreign exchange by exporting cultural materials and accessories, saying if other countries are doing so, nothing stops us from following suit, as it will reduce the pressure on crude oil, which seems to be the sole source of government earnings and the mainstay of the economy of the nation.

The Zonal Coordinator reiterated the activities of the Institute, including organizing seminars, conferences and workshops aimed at sensitizing the general public towards culture-related life style among other things.

He recalled that the Institute, on 2nd March, 2017, organized a Quarterly Public Lecture, with the theme, “Promoting Culture, Developing the Economy” at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Conference Centre in Abuja, with His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the Executive Governor of Imo State, as the guest speaker; as well as the Annual Round Table on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO), with the theme, “Indigenous Languages Newspapers and National Development”, held at Arewa House Kaduna, on 15th and 16th May, 2017.

Lawal further intimated the audience on the National Conference, with the theme, “Culture, Peace and National Security: The Role of Traditional Rulers”, coming up on 1st and 2nd of June, 2017 at Enugu; and seized the opportunity to invite guest to the National Workshop on the theme, “Nigerian Dress Culture and Sustainable National Development,” coming up at the Justice Kutigi Conference Centre, Minna, Niger State on 6th and 7th June, 2017, which, he maintains, will be a veritable platform to work out a framework for the implementation of a Made-in-Nigeria Dress Days policy.

Also speaking at the event, the Comptroller, Nigerian Prisons Service, Katsina State, Alhaji Sanusi Mu’azu Danmusa, who was the chairman on the occasion, lauded the effort of the Institute, under the able leadership of the Executive Secretary, Associate Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, in propagating the Nigerian cultures, saying the initiatives will bring about peaceful coexistence among the people.

He added that it is not the responsibility of NICO alone to promote culture but that the task calls for involvement of all and sundry; and therefore called on all stakeholders to be part of this move pioneered by the Institute so as to bring about peaceful cohabitation that will foster not only unity, but consequently national development.

Another dignitary and representative of the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Ahmadu Na Funtua (Sa’in Katsina), while giving a goodwill message, appreciated the Institute for its commitment towards the preservation and promotion of the nation’s culture, noting that the initiatives of the Institute would not only benefit the present, but would speak for posterity as our children and grand children will be beneficiaries of the good seed sown by NICO.

Also giving a good will message, Alhaji Mujitapha Lawal, Principal Government Secondary School, Kofar Kaura Katsina, affirmed that colonization has become an albatross to this nation, saying our culture was equally colonized, which eventually affected our languages and dresses.

He quoted the famous Hausa Musician of blessed memory, Dan Maraya Jos, who said in one of his songs that, whatever you borrow from someone, when he will come for it, you would have no option but to go back to your original one. Hence he said, we must go back to the original, which is our indigenous way of life if we must succeed as a nation.

The event, which also featured cultural performances, took place at the Conference Hall, Federal Secretariat Complex, Katsina, also had in attendance Alhaji Uthman S. Abubakar (Asst. Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service, Katsina State) T. P. Romba (Deputy Commandant, (Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Katsina State); Heads of MDA’s, School Principals, students and a host of others.

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