Yoruba Tailors Are Taking over Nnewi!

Yoruba Tailors Are Taking over Nnewi!

By Azuka Onwuka

Igbos don’t rent shops or sell land to non-Igbos bla bla bla!

Story for the gods!

When I went to Femi Embroidery in Nnewi to get some clothes sewn this past Christmas period, after the disappointment I got from my Lagos tailor, I noticed that he had about five Yoruba boys working for him. All through the Yuletide, while the indigenes were busy spending their money on celebration, they were busy churning out clothes for those who were celebrating. Soon each of them will complete his apprenticeship, get his freedom and start his own shop in Nnewi like Femi did some years ago after working under his master.

While driving through some major streets in Nnewi, I noticed that Yoruba tailors are all over the place. Each shop has up to four boys working under the owner of the shop.

Interestingly, all of them use their Yoruba names on their signboards as their business names. Some even add underneath their business names that they are Yoruba tailors, in case their business names did not convince you of their ethnicity. Why do they do this? Why don’t they use English names like Classic Designs or Chicago Tailors to hide their identity and attract customers? They flaunt their Yoruba identity because they know that the inhabitants will patronize them more if they know that they are Yoruba tailors.

I noticed the same trend when I visited Onitsha, Owerri, Enugu recently.

I also saw our Yoruba brothers and sisters who are in herbal medicine, construction, and even motor spare parts business in Nnewi! It gladdened my heart that young men and women would leave Ife, Owo, Osogbo or Ilesha and travel about 400 kilometres to Nnewi for greener pastures rather than going to Lagos or Ibadan that are nearer and share the same ethnicity.


It is a testimony that while propagandists and rumour-mongers spread their baseless tales, those who care to travel disregard their tales, venture out and make cool money in other lands. Meanwhile those who have never seen the Niger Bridge in Onitsha will stay in the comfort of their home and continue to spread the propaganda that Igbos don’t rent shops to non-Igbos or sell property to them or patronise non-Igbo businesses, because that narrative jells with the story they love to share.


It is a known fact that when people travel out of their village or state or ethnic group or country, they usually make more money and achieve more success than those who stay within their locality, because they see what the locals don’t see, they can do what the locals won’t want to do, and they have no airs and misconceptions about their personalities like the locals do. What is paramount in the minds is how to succeed. They know that everybody at home expects them to come back better than they were when they left. So they can even wash dead bodies or clear the sewage to make money, things they would never do while living in their own locality.

I invite more people to come to Nnewi and succeed. There is too much money in that town waiting to be grabbed. That is why it is called the land of gold. Last year, Forbes magazine called it the town with the greatest number of billionaires in Nigeria, most of them home-made.

On a lighter note, I may soon be thinking of retiring to Nnewi to set up an omonile or son-of-the-soil company for the purposes of doing “owo da” or collecting “marching ground” money from all those going to my town to make money. Is that not fair enough? Hahaha!


  1. Okeke Obinna February 28, 2018 Reply
    • Azuka Onwuka March 1, 2018 Reply
  2. Akuluouno March 1, 2018 Reply
    • Azuka Onwuka March 3, 2018 Reply
  3. Chioma February 25, 2019 Reply

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