Ola Abayomi, sit's down with VProud to chat inspiration, culture, and motivation behind Dual Citizen. VProud is a video-driven conversation platform created by women for women. Their mission is to cultivate honest conversations among women on a wide range of topics. Learn more about VProud.
We've partnered with the International Coalition for African Fashion (ICAF) and are SO excited to announce that we will be participating in the pop up shopping event during the Face2Face Pan African Weekend in New York City!
The pop up shop will showcase aspiring, emerging and established designers and brands that incorporate African culture into their designs. Light refreshments, music and art displays will add to the "I-CAF Shopping Experience." Come shop with us Saturday July 11th at 101 Wooster Street, New York, NY from 9am to 5pm.
ICAF is a non-profit retail industry organization whose membership consists of designers, suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, media, and consumers with the common goal of promoting the mainstream sustainability of African fashion.
A behind the scenes sneak peek at our January photoshoot.
Most of you know the back story of Dual Citizen - and if you don't, go here and find out! One of the underlying reasons we started Dual Citizen was to help to bring attention to the beautiful things that are happening in Lagos, Nigeria and really, Africa as a whole and how that fits with what's going on in the US. There is an amazing fashion world out there and Dual Citizen, in our minds, is just a small part of what's to come. More on this fashion scene but wanted to take the time to call out 5 facts that you probably didn't know about Nigeria. To a lot of people, the first thing that comes to mind are internet scams - curses! - but here are a couple other things that should come to mind when you think about Nigeria:
1. 33% of land in Nigeria is arable
This means that 1/3rd of Nigeria's territory is ripe for agriculture. In fact, agriculture & farming employs about 60% of the population.
2. Nigeria is the third largest English speaking nation in the world behind India and the US.
Combine the facts that Nigeria is a British colony and the massive population - 174 million - it's no surprise that Nigeria trails just behind India and the US as the largest English speaking nation.
3. Nigeria has the 3rd largest movie industry after Bollywood and Hollywood.
Have you heard of Nollywood? Nollywood is the movie industry of Nigeria and IT. IS. HUGE. For reals. Check out the Wiki page. Nollywood is the largest movie industry in Africa in terms of value and number of films produced. In 2013 alone, Nollywood generated about $10 billion (USD). Woahh.
4. 28% of Forbes' 40 richest African entrepreneurs are Nigerian.
In addition to this, Nigeria has the highest rate of young people, who had studied or lived abroad, returning to the country to create industries, disrupt industries and to take advantage of the vast possibilities that are there. Entrepreneurial spirit definitely runs through Nigerian blood so, we can say: We're born with it.
5. 7th most populous country in the world.
This is probably why Nigeria is nicknamed the "Giant of Africa." As mentioned before, the population of Nigeria is about 174 million - and it's crowded. This is another reason so many are returning to the country: there's a huge opportunity to be tapped into. Technology, Telecommunications, Fashion, Infrastructure - you name it and there's probably an area of growth.
Well folks, there you have it. 5 facts about Nigeria that have NOTHING to do with internet scams :) Of course there's a ton more but we'll leave you with this bite size of information about the "African Giant."
Have a great week everyone.
I've come across this quote on social media a number of times and every time I see it, it always resonates so much that I pause and think about it. I think about it in terms of this boutique, which, it must be said, took me a couple twists and turns to realize it was a store I wanted to create. It must have been early 2013 when I realized that I wanted to create something. I knew that I wanted to do something in fashion. I knew I wanted to do something connected to my personal experience of being a dual citizen. And I knew that there was an underlying social responsibility that I felt was critical to this thing I wanted to create.
It was those three factors that led me to where I am right now but it was definitely not a clear path. I zigged and zagged through so many different manifestations of this thing from developing a shoe line to a media & shopping platform dedicated to designers from around the world. I would go down a path and ultimately get to a point where it didn't feel right and realized that it wasn't what I was going after. It was those three factors that were so integral to this thing that it enabled me to recognize when something wasn't right.
To say this was frustrating would be an understatement. I had this vision of what I wanted to create and why but no idea how to put it into motion and make it real. Fast forward almost 2 years and Dual Citizen boutique is finally here. The power of the mind is a fascinating force and it wasn't until our opening this week that I really understood that power. Staying true to those 3 things really were my guideposts to creating this store and I'm so excited about the future. I could not have asked for a better kick off and cant wait for whats to come. As holiday season gets underway I'm so thankful that I was able to remember why I started through those twists, turns and wrong directions that ultimately led me here.
Beautifully hand crafted shopper tote bag made in Lagos, Nigeria. A portion of the proceeds support local designers and artisans in Lekki, Market. Shop at etsy.com/shop/dualcitizenshop