• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Air Peace’s cabin crew’s traditional Isi Agu attire excites Nigerians

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Air Peace, Nigeria’s leading airline made waves in the aviation industry recently with a bold and culturally significant statement. As the airline launched its inaugural Lagos to London flight, the cabin crew members donned the traditional isi agu attire, showcasing the richness and diversity of Nigerian culture at 35,000 feet above ground.

Read also: Why can’t we just make Air Peace our official flag carrier?

The isi agu attire, characterised by its vibrant, intricate patterns, and symbolic significance, holds a special place in Igbo culture. Traditionally worn during important ceremonies and celebrations, this attire represents heritage, pride, and unity among the Igbo people.

For Air Peace, the decision to incorporate isi agu attire into its cabin crew uniform for the Lagos to London flight can be seen as more than just a fashion statement; it was a celebration of Nigeria’s cultural heritage and a nod to the airline’s commitment to promoting unity and diversity.

The embroidery on the fabric typically showcases various motifs and symbols that hold cultural significance. These symbols often represent things like wealth, fertility, bravery, prosperity, or ancestral connections. The designs are usually bold and vibrant, adding to the overall regal and distinguished appearance of the attire. To complete the traditional look, accessories such as a coral necklace, beaded waistband, traditional Igbo cap called “okpu agu,” and a staff may be added. Air Peace’s cabin crew showcased the galore of the outfit with a professional sense of style.

But to this cultural display, a backlash rose in response from fellow Nigerians in question of its meaning; with people going on X to reprimand Allen Onyema for his cabin crew’s fashion orientation. Chief Executive officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who spoke with Arise news recently established that Air Peace is saying Nigerian brand, it is Nigerian and it is promoting Nigeria.

Reuben Abati, a television anchor and newspaper columnist of Arise news gave voice in the midst of this backlash. He encouraged a sense of unity rather than tribal attack.

“I have seen that attire before; the one worn by the crew and it is beautiful, pleasant to the eye. And I think the aesthetics of it is what is more important. There is no ethnicity involved in air travel in terms of the way some people are talking about how it is Isi agu. If tomorrow, Air Peace decides to change its uniform, they can even use Aso Oke, they can use whatever from any part of Nigeria,” Abati said.

“It is a national brand providing service, to the extent that the airline is also promoting our country’s food and attire. We should not reduce it to a village. Too many people are so provincial in this country, even people in high places, they are extremely provincial. And the matter has been taken to twitter. A lot of ignorant people will say all kinds of things on that platform, when it should be a platform for people to be discerning,” Abati said.

Passengers boarding the flight were greeted by cabin crew members adorned in stunning isi agu attire, with its vibrant colours and intricate designs of the traditional attire.

Blessing Ibari, a fashion and hair enthusiast, said to BusinessDay that at the vision of the attire, she was impressed and proud to be called Nigerian.

“Honestly when I saw them, all I could say was AHH, this is good!. All of them walking in uniform with that outfit is just fantastic.”

As the flight took off, passengers were treated to more than just a journey from Lagos to London; the sight of Air Peace’s cabin crew members proudly wearing isi agu attire served as a reminder of the beauty and richness of Nigerian culture.