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COVID-19: Anambra tailors complain of poor patronage



AS the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy remains the suffering giant. Even with the lockdown being eased in some states like Anambra, there seems to be a breath of fresh air for some businesses.

Fashion is one area believed that may not be affected by the lockdown as people always want to look good and a lot of fashion designers worked from home. 

National Light reporters who went to town to see how members of this sector are responding to government directives on social distancing, personal hygiene,among others noted that it wasn’t all rosy for most tailors despite the fact that they were busy sowing clothes; although sowing of face masks seems to be the order of the day.

Chiamaka Okpara of Sisi Tailor Couture stated that the lockdown was a resting period for her,  noting that she practically wrote on  her WhatsApp status that she missed her sowing machine, and a lot of her customers did not come to collect their cloths because of restriction in movement, leaving her with accrued expenses.

She added that she did not have a choice than using the money she had her to take care of herself during the lockdown.Opara maintained that she did not go into business of sowing face masks because the market became saturated that every Dick, Tom and Harry was sowing face masks. “I am a person of style and quality. I didn’t go into that market but I am open to others may be the government and parastatals but I have my own face mask. I have sown many for my family and friends”.

She stated that government can patronise her on face mask because of the quality she produces, saying that she is assured that government can afford her quality because she will give the society what they want, thereby maintaining her standard.

She advised the pubic to obey the rules given by the state government in times like this, noting that it is time to be careful as seeing what is happening in the developed countries is worrisome. She believes that if people keep maintaing social distance, keeping their environment clean, COVID- 19 would be sent away from the country entirely.

Okpara advised people to always eat fruits to help to build their immune system. In her word,” I don’t know why anybody would want to doubt that coronavirus is real and with us,but for those doubting, I want you to stay alive for your family members. Keep washing your hands, stay away from crowd if you can.This too shall pass. Let’s all be focused, be positive and stay alive”.

 Also speaking, Amaka Okwudili of   Ama – Syngnature Couture, Sunday Obidike of Sunny Best Connection and Ngozi Owube while narrating their ordeal complained that since the lockdown, clothes sewed for people were packed in their shops without being collected by their customers, noting that now that the lockdown has been eased, they are not forthcoming as many said that they ran out of cash.

Okwudili said she made over 200 face masks but complained of high cost of tailoring matrials, saying that customers refuse to accept the prices given to them due to inflation in the country.

They advised the pubic to always wash their hands, keep to a distance, and abide by the directives given by the state government in taking measures against the virus, noting that it will be of great benefit for people to keep their environment clean.

Contributing, Kelechi Muokwe Anthony of  K-  Snatches Casual  said COVD-19 affected everybody and that the fashion designers were not left out. He said that their jobs depended on occasions like weddings, funerals and the rest.

According to him, from the first week of the lockdown, he did not really experience much, because he still had few jobs to do, but from the second week up, he started experiencing low patronage from most of his customers whose clothes were ready but refused to collect their clothes due to the lockdown which restricted movement and the ban on social gathering.”Some of my customer that I called replied that they were not wearing the clothes to any place or did he want them to wear it at home? At a time, I closed down my shop and most of my workers travelled. The shop was closed for about three weeks for lack of patronage. I just re-opened last week”.

He added that since the ease of lockdown, the turn up and patronage is still low and that he is hopping that when there is a ease of the ban on social gathering, people will start trouping as people will like to fix back their weddings, burials and others.

Muokwe admitted that he made a lot of face masks for people, both wholesalers and retailers.He also advised the pubic to adhere to rules giving by the state government to always wash their hands with water, soap and sanitiser, noting that COVID-19 is real.

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