Jacket: Style Temple by OG Okonkwo, Abuja (Celebrating DEAR IJEAWELE, New York) @styletemple #MadeinNigeria

A post shared by Chimamanda Adichie (@chimamanda_adichie) on

Famed Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi always looks flawless. She’s rocked bold colors and bright floral prints while speaking about feminism in front of the world. 

Now, Adichie is adding something new to her wardrobe: a promise to support Nigerian designers. 

On Monday, Adichie vowed to do her best to wear only Nigerian brands for public appearances after launching her own “Wear Nigerian” project. 

Adichie is a true global citizen, she splits her time between the US and Nigeria, and travels to teach and lecture around the world. But her ties to help Nigeria remain steadfast wherever she travels.

Adichie’s commitment to Nigerian brands stems from the Nigerian government’s “Buy Nigerian to Grow Naira” campaign to boost the country’s downtrodden economy. 

Read More: 15 Quotes From Chimamanda Adichie on Gender, Africa, and Perception

The Naira (₦) is Nigeria’s currency and it’s been in decline for years. Between 2015 and 2016 the currency lost 25% of its value

Adichie said in a Facebook post Monday that she believes the government’s “disastrous economic policies,” not the Nigerian people, are to blame for the economic hardships the country has endured in recent years. These policies, she says, led to a “debilitating sense of uncertainty” among Nigerians. 

“If we are to grasp for a silver lining, then the 'Buy Nigerian to Grow The Naira' rhetoric is one,” she said.

Her “Wear Nigerian” project also comes with a brand new Instagram account featuring stunning outfits crediting Nigerian designers. 

Adichie is leaving the task of managing her fashionable Instagram account to her nieces, Chisom and Amaka, and they are doing a fantastic job. 

Skirt and top: Gozel Green, Lagos (Celebrating DEAR IJEAWELE, London) @gozelgreen #MadeinNigeria

A post shared by Chimamanda Adichie (@chimamanda_adichie) on

Dress: Style Temple by OG Okonkwo, Abuja. (Standing Ovation for DC Public Schools. Washington DC.) @styletemple #MadeinNigeria

A post shared by Chimamanda Adichie (@chimamanda_adichie) on

“In the past few weeks, I’ve bought more Nigerian brands than I ever have in the past. I’ve discovered new names. I’ve been filled with admiration for the women and men running their businesses despite the many challenges they face. I'm particularly interested in 'inward-looking' brands, those for whom dressing Nigerian women is as important as other goals,” she said

The World Bank ranks Nigeria as one of the hardest places to do business. High taxes, strained border trade, and lack of access to electricity are some of the factors the World Bank cites as roadblocks in growing Nigeria’s economy. Starting a business and getting credit are also challenges for Nigerians, according to the World Bank

While Adichie’s call and support for Nigerian brands cannot fix business roadblocks right away, it is a huge step in the right direction to innovators a chance at success in a tough environment. 

Read More: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Paulo Coelho, Christina Lamb Pen Hope in Tiny Stories For World’s Children

She says that she has encountered some “dodgy zippers” but the choice to support local designers from her home country has been wonderful.

“Overall, I love the clothes, their cut, their whimsy, their color, their flair, their ability to make me feel like myself. Their makers, from designer to tailor to button-fixer to okada-delivery-person, deserve to be supported,” she said


Demand Equity

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Vows to Only Wear Nigerian Brands

By Meghan Werft