Esimaje Awani, CEO of GT Stitches, who designed the native attire worn by the Super Eagles, has expressed his dissatisfaction over lack of credits for a job well done. The Delta-based designer wondered why the attire was not widely celebrated as much as the jerseys designed by Nike.
“It was actually a surprise when I saw the advert of the design on different blogs and newspapers even television stations without giving credits to me.
“If not for MITV that came to grant me interview on Saturday, nobody knew I was actually the designer of the Super Eagles’ dress”.
“I think the problem we are having in this country is that we are having it very difficult to appreciate what is made in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, we are engulfed with mentality of celebrating what is made abroad. The only reason Nike is having edge over Nigerians designs is because Nigerians prefer foreign products than local ones.
“If I were from America or UK, I would have been celebrated more than this. We need to start celebrating our own things and that is how we can industrialise our nation.
“Our local content is there as a law and the government has implemented it but what we need to do now is changing our behaviours and mindsets towards appreciating Nigerian goods”.
“I’m a designer before now but Super Eagles’ design is borne out of love and passion for Nigeria because as a citizen of Nigeria, I have too much confidence in this country believing that only this country’s citizens that can move this country from point A to B.
“Immediately after the qualification of Super Eagles for World Cup competition, I think our last match with Algeria, as a designer, I felt it would be right for me to contribute my own quota to the entire project of going to Russia.
“That was then I sat down with my team and decided to create something that can actually enhance the confidence of our players.
“And at the same time to create jobs for Nigerian youths because the target of our company is to contribute our own quotas towards eradication of unemployment from Nigeria as well to establish our brand.
“So, this design was actually borne out of love and patriotism for Nigeria and that took me so much to create because it’s not a ready made design but created from the scratch”.