“WE HAVE revived an industry that provides new opportunities for business for other entrepreneurs … and this is a prelude, this is just the start of the explosion of the textile cottage industry with Jadire in Jamaica. It is not only about the development of enterprise, it is about the development of industry,” Harold Davis, deputy chief executive officer at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), said at the launch of Jadire Expose inside The University of the West Indies regional headquarters along Mona Road in St Andrew on November 21. The event, which continues on Saturday, December 2, encompasses an exhibition and the sale of tie-and-dye batik fabrics and items made of such.
The pieces on show were created by four women who were trained at the JBDC by Nigerian cultural diplomat Alao Luqman, whose fabrics are among the many eye-catching pieces. The name of the fabric is called Jadire, which is a combination of the J from Jamaica and the Yoruba word, adire, meaning ‘tie-and-dye textile’.
Davis’ presentation was focused on three significant pillars of the JBDC – enterprise development, ecosystem development, and strengthening of the first two, internally and externally. He said what started out as a project, imparting and translating skills from the Nigerian to the Jamaica context, has evolved into an exhibition, into a business, which “is a significant win”.
“It feels wonderful,” he also said, “to witness the evolution of this project into enterprise … and that’s a big deal for us. The production of Jadire is to create opportunities for enterprise, making new business opportunities available, to revive some industries that need revival, to create new opportunities, from idea to market.” And it is not just a local market of which he spoke, as he said the development of industry and entrepreneurships is done in a global frame of mind, and there is already some internal interest, “and that is a big deal”.
Before declaring the event open, Valerie Veira, chief executive officer at JBDC, said, inter alia, “It is a whole industry that we are developing, and I don’t see it as an exhibition; it’s a promotion of products and the growth of the pockets of our graduates. It is an opportunity for earning, not to put a piece on show, and that is what I find exciting, that the designers see this as an opportunity to earn.”
Veira encouraged the exhibitors to share their skills, not only with their family, but also with their communities, for, it is not a competition. It is working together to have a vibrant industry. She congratulated them, and expressed the hope that, the next time around, the number can increase from four to 40. “We are on the road with you in every sphere,” she also assured them.
On a diplomatic level, Haruna Isa, head of chancery at the Nigerian High Commission, was hopeful and revealing. “It is our hope and prayer that this relationship will continue to be stronger forever and ever. It is out of this cordial relationship that Nigeria, through the federal technical programme, that they sent Mr Alao to come here to share with Jamaicans the technical programme of adire. And, as we are here today, we are able to witness what he has introduced to Jamaica. We hope that, through this programme, we continue to maintain cordial relationships between our two countries. Congratulations to the students and the two countries!” he said.
Cultural diplomat Alao Luqman expressed his pleasure, among other things, to see his former students having their own exhibition, and that they were inspired by his own exhibition earlier this year. “What I see in this first group of Jadire exhibition, the students were so amazed and they were so happy. It was a great achievement for their coming out together in one showcase.
He told The Gleaner, “This achievement has made them thinking more forward, carrying the exhibition, the textile culture out of Kingston. They want it to spread all over Jamaica … . This exhibition is also an eye-opener for them. They want to hold workshops in their communities, and thinking about how the youths can be impacted with this knowledge.”
Colin Porter, manager of technical services at JBDC, compared the venture to a seed that was planted, germinated, was fertilised, was nurtured, blossomed and now bearing fruits, despite challenges from concept to market.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner – https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20231128/growth-jobs-jadire-cottage-industry-ready-explode