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African Fashion Pride

All over the world, Africa is known and credited with a rich cultural heritage. People come from all over the world to identify with our festivals, cultural shows and more. Examples of which include the annual Eyo Festival of Lagos, the New Yam Festival and lots of others. At this junction, the important question to ask ourselves would be “if other people are aware of what we have and where we come from, why can’t we ourselves appreciate this fact? After all, as the saying goes “A man going for equity must go with clean hands” If we want people to continue to respect and remember our culture for many years to come, the onus lies on we ourselves to lift the mantle from our own end. Identify with our culture in every ramification and whenever the opportunity presents itself.
However, before I proceed further, it is important for us to take a close look at the word “culture”. According to Oxford Dictionary, Culture is a total way of life of a people. It encompasses everything they do. It includes the way they dress, eat, greet, live and even their language. It is also necessary for the purpose of this article to take a cursory look at the term “civilization”. Civilization could be described as an advanced stage of social development. Consequently, a country in a state of social development could be described as undergoing civilization. Civilization occurs when a country feels another country is still involved in what it considers ‘archaic’ and thus should be civilized. The specific characteristics of civilization are food, occupational specialization and the growth of cities.

As with most things in life, civilization is a two-edged sword. In as much as it has been able to make life easier in so many ways, it has, if I may be permitted to say push into near-oblivion, some of our cultural practices and ways. One of which include our way of dressing.

In our country today, some individuals have totally forgotten what it is to dress like an African. Dressing is a form of our identity and consequently depicts our rich cultural heritage and this is evident in the beautiful traditional fabrics available in different parts of Africa. Examples are the Kente cloth from Ghana, Aso-Oke from Nigeria. These African prints symbolizes Africa and makes people realize at first glance who we are and identify with where we come from.
Dressing up in traditional outfits doesn’t mean you have to be drab or lacking in style. Many fashion experts would define style or fashion not as what is in vogue but as looking good in whatever you feel comfortable in and also whatever suits your personality. At this junction, some critics of traditional outfits might be quick to say that dressing up traditionally might not give the desired results of looking good but I strongly disagree. You can make your traditional outfits to suit your personality and that is why today, we have seen international stars like Beyonce, Rihanna and Amber Rose appear at international events dressed up in African fabrics. Different designer companies all over the world are involved in using African prints to make different fashion items like shoes, bags, hooded jackets, dinner gowns and even glasses.
We at the House Of Joy Clothing Company concur to the extension of the rich African cultural heritage, we are available at your service to design for you beautiful cultural pieces that suits your style and personality thereby giving you an opportunity to make a bold statement in your cultural attires and thereby making dressing-up a fun, stylish and beautiful affair. If you can dream it, we can design it. Click here to see some pictures of our works, take a good look at them and you would see the creation of African fabrics brought to a whole new level. This is a revolution of African rich fabrics with artistic embroidered details and I invite you today to be a part of it. Step into the world of the House of Joy Clothing Today and have so much fun dressing up.

We can fight unemployment. Here’s how…

Introduction:

It is no news or surprise, the level at which the canker-worm known as ‘unemployment’, has eaten deep into our economic sector, society and country at large. In Nigeria, as a case study, the growing population of unemployed youths is breath-taking. This situation keeps us pondering, what to do to alleviate unemployment and the risk it poses to our youths who are eager and in search of gainful employment (jobs), likewise the employers who seek ‘workable hands and brains’.

What is unemployment?

In Wikipedia, unemployment, as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively looked for work within the past four weeks. The lack of available and worthy jobs is a measure of the prevalence of unemployment and it is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals by all individuals currently in the labour force. In my opinion, there are two types of unemployment:

– Involuntary unemployment due to job cuts.

– Voluntary unemployment due to laziness and reluctance to lose out on government aid.

It is a universal problem that affects all the countries in the world and was recently a very serious issue in Germany and France (to the extent that it even threatened the very continuity of the government in those countries.)

Risk of unemployment

The causes and consequences of youth unemployment in Nigeria have been of particular concern within both government and private sectors for many years. Statistics show that with every passing out year from the Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the population of the unemployed tops. This evidence gives cause to the growing concern surrounding the increase in youth unemployment. For size-able numbers of youth, its not going to get any easier to find work as they move into their twenties or complete education. There are two major repercussions or risk that goes with unemployment, especially with the youth. They are:

– An increase in the rate of crime. It is no wonder why juvenile crime is directly connected to the high rates of youth unemployment in Nigeria.

– The deterioration in the physical and mental health of those that are affected by unemployment.

Solution

According to Walter Fritz, in his article- ‘Unemployment causes and solution’, he stated “Unemployment is an unbalance between the supply and the demand of working hours”. The historical trend has been to use less and less working hours per week. If we do not continue this trend, the supply of working hours is greater than the demand. An oversupply of working hours means they are worth less, wages and salaries get reduced. Also many persons are out of work; their working hours are no longer needed. Those that are out of work have no income and therefore the demand for goods goes down. With fewer sales, less gets produced, more persons are laid off. This is a vicious circle that accelerates unemployment and produces crime; because some will turn to crime to obtain income.

The way to stop this and have everybody working is to continue the historical trend; which is to distribute the available work between all persons that want to work. This we can do if each person works fewer hours per week. The Government could level a tax on overtime, be it paid or voluntary, and on hours worked above a certain level per week. If there is, say, 9% unemployment, this level should be 9% less hours per week, than what is worked at present.

The role of youths

In the presenting situation of unemployment, there is a role to be played by the youths. To not be gainfully employed is not a ticket to sitting around and feeling sorry for you, but should be a challenge towards making necessary steps to harness talents rather than resorting to crime. Developing systems from the ground up can put other youths into employment.

Also, they can relocate to where there be plenty jobs or where they are hiring in their field of expertise, to avert the cases whereby we find a biochemist working in the banking sector where an accountant or other bank related course graduates should be.

They can go back to school, make themselves more valuable, attractive, and marketable to employers. By branching out into other field, such as, the biotech industry, and blue collar work can increase stability in our economy.

The role of teachers and institutions

According to http://www.truth-out.org, a 10th way to solve the job problem is in education. Institutions and teachers should start teaching a new way. It is stated, “More education, less advertising. Let us face it. Advertising is about making us feel inadequate for something we don’t yet have. What if we stopped subsidizing advertising with tax breaks and focused on educating people to lead satisfying lives?”. Better still educating the masses on how to make best use of core areas of interest and turning it into a mega company which will eventually create jobs is also way forward.

In conclusion, to prevent the backdrop of the high unemployment rate in our nation Nigeria, and to curb or reduce effectively the risk youth employability continues to pose to the youth and employers alike. The government, youths, teachers and academic institutions all have roles to play in resolving these issues and we all must channel our strength to see it through to fruition.

Be a better person, by knowing your strengths

Every individual has various and essential characters that forms his/her opinions, convictions and personal life principles. A knowledge of one’s key character strengths aids a better assessment of self and guides in career choices.

Dr. Seligman a world renowned Psychologist with the VIA Institute on Character and a team have been able to draft a questionnaire; VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire, to access the ranking of the strengths which reflects your overall ratings of yourself on the 24 strengths in the survey, how much of each strength you possess. Your top five, especially those marked as Signature Strengths, are the ones to pay attention to and find ways to use more often.

Regarding this site – http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu, Your responses to the questionnaires on this Web site are entirely voluntary and will be used, anonymously, in ongoing research by Dr. Seligman, the VIA Institute on Character, and the creators of the questionnaires. Participants will not be allowed to use the questionnaires until they fill out the information on the registration page and agree to the above consent.

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