Something to die for

Many of the most popular trends today were born of styles on the brink of oblivion anyone who has lived to see leggings become a wardrobe staple can attest to that. But what makes each fashion (re)cycle successful is the measure of innovation and creativity involved in the new iteration of a trend.
iro and buba (Classic)
Take for instance, the Oleku attire. Oleku’ is a modification of the traditional Iro and Buba (blouse and wrapper), a style of dress that is native to several Nigerian cultures.

Oleku was originally worn by stylish older women in South-western Nigeria in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and featured what was then a sensationally shortened sleeve (or wrapper?). Literally meaning, to die for or too hot, Oleku is believed to have been popularised by the classic movie of the same name, in which the lead character wears her Iro and Buba in this manner.

Even at that time, the style saw a few modifications. One version featured cropped sleeves and long wrappers, while another had cropped wrappers and long sleeves.
Today, stylish women and fashion designers alike have taken the idea to various degrees: beaded blouses with short sleeves, cropped wrappers and sleeves, modern-style tops with traditional wrappers and the ubiquitous sarong-style wrapper.
The trend has also evolved to incorporating non-traditional fabrics chiffon, silk, satin, linen in recreating this traditional style, and there is even the Oleku dress, where blouse and wrapper are sewn into a one-piece ensemble.

In all its modifications, the Oleku is a trend favourite among fashionistas of all ages. Generously worn to red carpet events, weddings, birthdays and even funerals, it does not appear to be dying out anytime soon.

Trends come and go but one thing is certain, nothing really dies as long as creative minds exist. Just as Oleku has become a fashion sensation that transcends time, class and ethnicity, a true cultural Heritage never dies; it is only reborn into something more beautiful.

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L-R: Dr. Sophia Horsefall, Corporate Relations Manager, SPDC; Osepiribo Ben-Willie, Executive Director of Heritage Bank and Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe held in Port Harcourt.


Heritage Bank is agent for actualisation of SDG 5-Gender Equality, women empowerment – Kilali Tribe

05/12/2022:  Heritage Bank has been commended for being an agent for the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment for socio-economic growth.

This was stated by Kilali Tribe at the Women Must Conference 2.0, titled “The Woman and Her Must” organised by The Kilali Tribe which held in Port Harcourt.

The Kilali Tribe is an association of prolific Rivers and Bayelsa State women who come together to support themselves through peer learning, capacity-building initiatives, networking, and mentoring. Also, provide similar structured support to other women within the community.

Speaking at the event, Ivy Davies-Etokakpan, President of Eveafrique News who also member of Kilali Tribe, commended Heritage Bank for taking the lead in championing the empowerment of women over the years in the country.

“We are proud of Heritage Bank for making us soar while promoting women empowerment. Over the years, Heritage Bank has proved to be an agent for the actualisation of achieving SDG 5 – Gender Equality, as well women empowerment,” she said.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank, Osepiribo Ben-Willie affirmed the need to deliberately adopt measures to deepen women empowerment to drive the nation’s socio-economic growth.

In her closing remarks, Osepiribo Ben-Willie hinted that the Conference had leveraged Kilali Tribe to come up with blueprint in promoting women’s equal right to socio-economic empowerment, as this is at the heart of the SDG5-Gender Equality.

The Executive Director of Heritage Bank affirmed that women all over have proved to be huge economic asset in the act of creation of a new sustainable economy, hence gender inclusiveness and women’s empowerment must be taken as a priority.

According to her, after evaluating the bottlenecks restraining the Kilali Tribe and other women to attain the platforms to grow professionally and thrive in all spheres of t heeconomy, it is a call to action to “tackle the challenges of gender disparity and lack of inclusiveness that have continued to impede the expected rapid economic empowerment that could help unshackle our women’s entrepreneurial prowess and foster more representation for women and girls at decision-making forums and Board levels in comparison to their peers in the developed countries.”

Ben-Willie added that for women to emerge economically and socially as independent there was an urgent need to tackle psychological, social and skill constraints.

Collaborating Ben-Willie’s, the Co-founder and former Group Executive Director of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, advocated for women and girl inclusiveness across all sectors of the society, including economic participation and decision-making.

According to him, the country should be conscious of gender equality, whilst emphasising that dealing with the psychological constraint will enable women to be balanced emotionally.

He stressed the need for organisation to leverage women positions on Board level, as they are resourceful and could enormously impact to the growth of any society.

Cole also charged women in being deliberate to position and champion course that would put them at the forefront of making difference. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications