Empower the youths, and you have empowered a nation! The strength of a nation lies in the youths as they are the future leaders of the country, hence a youthful generation without a focus spells a nation headed for doom. This is what The Nehemiah project with the participation from Kinabuti set out to address with its project tagged “ Rebuilding Lives” …this I my story, this is my life”. The Nehemiah Project” is a group of well meaning individuals committed to rebuilding the society by empowering and inspiring youths as the future leaders of our country to discover, explore and realize their full potentials. In the same light, Kinabuti, a fashion label spear headed by the Italian born Nigerian based fashion designer Caterina Bortolussi, through it’s non-profit social enterprise arm, Kinabuti Lab, is committed to charity and development using fashion as a visible medium for creating awareness and alleviating the plight of Nigerian youths in deprived communities through creativity, educational trainings and new job opportunities.
“Rebuilding lives”, the event which was held at the Ekpo hall of The Eko Hotel 24:07:11 was an idea borne out of a need to encourage and promote the youths to develop and explore their God given talent by bringing them stories of celebrated Nigerians who have successfully pursued their dreams by utilizing their innate talents. The celebrities such as, Basket Mouth, Banke Meshida Lawal, Pastor Ituah Igodalo and other individuals personally told their stories and gave motivational speech with the purpose of instigating change by encouraging them to redefine their aspirations and give shape to their own potential. The event which played host to numerous celebrities and successful Nigerians, like, Ty Bello, DBanj, MI, Waje, Holy Mallam, Lanre Da Silva, Ali Baba, Fela Durotoye, Tara, Funke Akindele, Cobhams, Gideon Okeke, Ireti Doyle, Mai Atafo, Elohor Aisien, Ibidun Ituha-Ighodalo with the duo of Kate Henshaw Nuttall and Tee-A as compeers for the night, also had in house, the Kinabuti “In Our Ghetto” models from Port Harcourt.
These 21 young ladies with similar grass to grace stories, of being discovered from various communities like Bundu Waterside, Eleme, Marine Base Waterside and Igbikisikalama in Port Harcourt, with no previous experience, were trained by professionals in the skills of make-up, hairstyling, walking and the other elements needed to give them a deep understanding of the modeling profession. These young ladies were invited to Lagos to be a part of the project and were given the humbling opportunity to strut the catwalk to showcase the amazing designs of accomplished designers such as Odion Mimonet, Phunkafrique, IAMISIGO, and of Kinabuti. They were treated like professional models, lodged at the Four Points Hotel (Official hotelier of Kinabuti ltd), had interactive sessions with the celebrities at the event and also the opportunity to share their experience were during the interview, Ini Godwin (one of the Kinabuti models) stated “ I count myself truly blessed to have had an opportunity such as this, through the trainings from the Kinabuti Lab, I realise that life is a function of your dreams, there is a wider spectrum in the possibilities of life”. The models were also flown back to Port Harcourt by Aero contractors (The official air carrier for Kinabuti Ltd). The girls got to experience firsthand the life of top models, and this was made possible with support from The Rivers State Government and partners of Kinabuti Ltd.
The Nehemiah project can be adjudged to have been a huge success judging from the massive crowd in attendance, the positive feedback from numerous youths at the event and the intense pleas for a repeat of the event next year. Kinabuti would like to thank The Nehemiah project for this platform and proving that even one story can make the difference! Believe in your dreams!