Women Don’t Support One Another Because Of Envy, Jealousy – Ajila-Ladipo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Women Don’t Support One Another Because Of Envy, Jealousy – Ajila-Ladipo

Posted: Jun 7, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Mrs Funmi Ajila-Ladipo is currently the president of Fashion Designers’ Association of Nigeria (FDAN). She won the best designer award in 1987 and 1988 and has being consistent in the fashion industry for almost three decades. She studied fashion designing at the Yaba College of Technology and have participated in different trainings and exhibitions, locally and international. This fashion ICON in her efforts have organised empowerment programmes for women even as she is concerned that government put up policies to affect the fashion and textile industry in Nigeria. Chinyere Abiaziem, engaged her in an interview on matters arising from fashion entrepreneurs to other issues as they affect the career woman. Excerpts; 

Ajila Ladipo

Ajila Ladipo

Do you think Nigerian government has done well in promoting fashion entrepreneurs?

I think they have tried but when you look at the situation of things it’s not just giving SME’s to people without putting infrastructure in place and what do I mean by that; Nigeria is one of the largest wearer of clothes. Every weekend there is always something to do people are busy making clothes, we make many clothes in Nigeria. When you look at people on the streets you see that people are wearing imported clothes, we have fashion designers, textile designers on Nigeria. We have to go beyond making clothes for party or occasions to move having production hub where clothes can be mass produced. And what does it take? Do one sample , take it to the production hub  and then they mass produce it, I’m able to generate my money and then the young ones are being empowered as a graduate who studied designing you can serve in that production hub for one year .

You get to pimp what you did in school, its gives you more practical experience because everything is done precept by precept and done well. Its one thing for you to go to school then it’s another thing for you to come out from school and do the practical aspect. So that people will take fashion as business and not entertainment. So far so good when you give them money to start business and with the situation of the country whereby you generate power yourself and make expenses at the end of the day most of the money you make will not be enough to power the money you got from the bank, you discover that when that money is paid you go back to square one.

In developed countries what you do is have studio, do  sample and take it to the production hub and it makes things faster, that is why people take their things to china and turkey. There is a lot to be done in this industry the government needs to bring in stakeholders who know what they are doing, people that will put in laws in place where people won’t have a choice than to pay through their nose to import things. This will make them use the hub as it will in turn help our industry and create jobs for people.

In some quarters, it’s common to see women who find it difficult managing their homes alongside their career. What can we attribute as the cause?

Ehnn.. I would say a lot of women are doing very well, come to think of it, it is not easy to live in Nigeria, I’m sure we all know that the woman is doing so much, she goes to work and know everything that is happening with the children, cook and do other things. I think the women are trying but the pressure is much.

A whole lot of women are going through pressure, when you have to queue to get fuel, you go to work about 5 or 6am, at the time you are coming back you burn that 25 litres in the holdup to get to your home.  You want to make sure the home works of your children are done when you get to work; you want to make sure you put food on the table and at the same time you are expected to partner with your spouse in sharing bills or expenses.  I really give it to a lot of women.

There is an increase at which men are leaving the bulk if not all of the responsibilities for their wives to shoulder, where did these men miss it?

I think a lot of men gamble with their money and take risk; they spend their money more on frivolous things and at the end of the day have nothing to bring back home.  Some men can take their friends out to entertain them and buy N25, 000 worth of champagne. They incur uncalculated expenses because they feel if they don’t cater for the home their wives will do. As in the nature of a woman, before she makes any expenses what comes to her mind first is her children and bills.

Do you think women are doing well to justify the demand for 35percent representation in government?

Hmmn! I really think so. I know one woman who is close to me and going by her standard if all woman are like that I think they are justified for the 35 percent representation in governance if you take a censor of what some men and women have done, you will find out that some women ran into trouble while their male counter parts didn’t run into any trouble for doing the same thing. Like you have the good you also have the bad. I think we still have to give women the opportunity; I’m still looking for a time when a woman will be the next president or governor.

How come women don’t support one another, taking a cue from the number of women that supported the presidential female aspirant?

Well it’s true, we are the problem of ourselves, I don’t know maybe it is envy and jealously I don’t understand.  It is true women don’t seem to get the support of their other women, I don’t really know why. I trace it to envy, jealousy, and intimidation.  I will not say its lack of trust to deliver because if you don’t try people out will never know how well they can deliver.  Most of the time we don’t give people the chance to try.

If she doesn’t have what she have she can borrow from your ideas, it should be a thing of pride that a woman is doing this and then we should support.

How will you access the role of women in shaping the society?

It starts from the home, she gives birth to a child and nurtures the child, it starts from families, homes or families make up the society. If you trace the behavior of some people you will find out that they were trained that way, the character has been with them since inception. My father used say that a good name is better than all the riches in the world.  It is better to have a good name and dignity than to have riches of the world at the end of the day riches cannot buy you dignity but dignity will fetch you all the things you need in the world.

These days we chase money rather than raise our kids’ well, that is why you have a society that is not healthy, some children cannot differentiate between what is   what they know is corruption. We have not done enough we still have a lot of works to do; we need to borrow ideas from the older people.  Let’s train our children, we need to be patient, we need to try as much as possible to train our children with both hands.

We are not Europeans we are Africans, the good aspects of our culture should not go into extinction. As a woman if you don’t do what you are suppose to do while in power you will suffer for it one day.

Any tip for the career woman finding it challenging to balance up responsibilities?

A career woman should be able to prioritise her responsibilities, do the right things at the right time, do them well and try to balance up things. This will give her  happiness.