Nigeria doesn’t really have a mask problem or PPE for that matter. At least not yet.
Maybe because our covid-based statistics are well below those of other affected nations but whether that is as a result of Nigeria’s swift response to the global crises or not, is a story for another day.
Today’s interest is in masks.
Arguably one of the most sought after items the world over.
Who would have thought that an item that a good portion of the population have never worn before in their entire life, would end up being a must-have, global protective accessory.
YouTube is full of tutorials on DIY mask making sessions. This was kick started when one of the most notoriously googled man in America, CDC Director, Anthony Fauci mentioned that home-made masks would serve as a last resort in helping to protect against corona virus.
Chinese billionaire and renowned e-commerce mogul, Jack Ma recently sent 5.4 million surgical masks to Africa, to be distributed across the continent. Fashion retail company Prada, has made a timely shift from producing streetwears to crafting protective masks.
Nigerians, as expected, are not left out of the hordes of mask-making innovators with the unveil of the brightly-coloured Ankara masks, a new trend that somehow helps to soften the look of severity that the clinical masks sometimes give.
Serial Entrepreneur Toyin embarked on the production of fashion-forward, blinged-up masks, an idea she stumbled on after getting a series of concerned looks when she wore the regular clinical masks in public.
But trust Nigerians to take it a step further and get hyper creative.
There has been an unprecedented burst of Coronavirus creativity from the cleverly-orchestrated to the extremely absurd.
From African-inspired, beaded-masks to locally-source PPEs.
Although Nigerians have been notoriously accused of not fully complying with the stay-at-home and social distancing directive, no one can accuse us of not being fashionably ‘masked up’ while bending the rules.
Masks are definitely the least of our problems though.
We now have beautifully-designed, African-inspired clothing paying homage to the orchestrator of the global pandemic; Covid-19
That’s right, Coronavirus now has some kind of morbid branding.
So if by some small chance you come across anybody clad in bizzare covid-inspired, African print clothing or a series of brightly-coloured, fashionable facemasks, try not to judge.
Because everyone, in their own small way, is trying to stay safe while looking pretty good in the process.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here