Accessories by their very nature are additives that spice up life. Nothing revamps one’s lifestyle like the right instant fashion fix – a throw on of that stylish scarf, veil, hair clip, bangles and bracelets, belts and watches. Accessorizing everyday appearance includes jazzing up the routine and regular by clutching a spectacular handbag, conference folder, portfolio and, in the electronic devices crazy world we live in these days, perking up our laptop carriers, handsets and IPad with customized covers.
The more up-to-date fashion savvy patrons include shoes in the range of accessories available to both men and women. Be it as it may and in whatever range of appearances, accessories are primed to take your wardrobe from the simplistic, predictable and boring to the remarkable, outstanding and boring in just seconds. Most importantly, in our quest for viable alternative economic livewire to oil, is the good news that accessories mean big business for many people in the production and vending line even as it continues to spell glam for the end users.
Accessories are also symbolizes of shared cultural memories proudly proclaiming the user’s point of encounter with the product, its producers and the country that owns the production knowledge, intellectual property and adaptability capacities. Essentially, they are evidences of that proclaim “I was in such and such place and picked up these little memorabilia and memento for you.” Consequently, they are carriers of the collective warm memories of a visitor/tourist of places visited, people encountered, as well as being expressions of the purchasable creativity of a people in the form of their art and craft. By their very nature, therefore, accessories carry within themselves, elements of cultural appreciation.
By extension, accessories can be considered as first line consumer items deliberately produced, packaged and promoted to “pick the pocket’ of the tourist. On an elevated elitist scale, they are brand items of the exclusive membership of designer clubs. In this category, its restricted membership demands the purchasing power and weight of the currency of exchange of the buyer as significant ownership index.
With the protocol associated with tourism in mind, accessories lend themselves to easy “carriability” and take away/take home profiling since they are created to fit into the tourist’s luggage with room to spare. Seeing that the tourist is ideally a weight conscious flyer, accessories production and marketing must be tailored to this significant consumption and patronage factor for any meaningful economic investment and breakthrough.
Hence,the need for miniatures and the use of lightweight materials for souvenir fabrications and production.
Irrespective of systemic lack of accurate data, it is fairly commonplace sectoral assumption that most Nigerian craftsmen and traditional producers of identity arts and crafts are aged and predictably stultified in their creative response to contemporary demands of the global souvenir market.
Similarly, there is the gulf between breakthroughs in scientific discoveries, transferable information and product lines to the application driven area such as souvenir and memorabilia production. The need for synergy and a departure from segregated data and knowledge management for the common good is at the crux of streamlining inter-agency relationships and greater national goal achievements. In this vein, guaranteeing and sustaining the inflow of fresh creative energy and ideas require effective harvesting of the youth capacity into the skills and hands – on response and productive sector.
Deliberately enabling the consumption psychology of home grown products does not require rocket science strategies nor legislative interventions. The windows of opportunity are already ingrained within the acknowledged warmth and hospitable disposition of Nigerians towards visitors; be they domestic or foreign. The stimulated correlation lies in the functional utilization of Nigerian souvenirs as corporate gift items at all formal State and national events. To match facts to figures: Nigeria regularly plays host to visitors in one guise or the other – conference attendants, international delegates on solidarity visits, courtesy calls, commercial relationship prospectors, etc.
These folks all come with the expectation of encountering a slice of Nigeria. As such, they constitute a recognizable cluster of “ready – to – indulge” population who must be harnessed into the empowerment quotient for local souvenir producers and craftsmen through the simple act of gifting these visitors with Made – in – Nigeria by Nigerian craftsmen and artists memorabilia instead of imported variants.
The win – win situation is a positive index in our national pride in our products hence a value adding advert that commands other people’s confidence to patronize same. Further, it elicits consumption beyond the immediate production frontiers of Nigerian indigenous cultural products. Finally, it assures the economic rejuvenation of the creative industry and its practitioners. We must never lose sight of the fact that the true wealth and spiritual wellbeing of a nation is often directly related to the productivity of its creative sector.
The trick to this business is to brand Nigerian products through visible, conspicuous utilization by celebrity and high profile individuals in all walks of life. It makes common sense for all those in exalted positions, alongside their families and aides, to be in the vanguard of celebrating our collective creativity by matching their talk to their walk. Belief in the Nigeria Project and being in the driver’s seat becomes most convincing and effortlessly attracts disciples when daily reality actions easily justify the dream destination.