Something to die for

Many of the most popular trends today were born of styles on the brink of oblivion anyone who has lived to see leggings become a wardrobe staple can attest to that. But what makes each fashion (re)cycle successful is the measure of innovation and creativity involved in the new iteration of a trend.
iro and buba (Classic)
Take for instance, the Oleku attire. Oleku’ is a modification of the traditional Iro and Buba (blouse and wrapper), a style of dress that is native to several Nigerian cultures.

Oleku was originally worn by stylish older women in South-western Nigeria in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and featured what was then a sensationally shortened sleeve (or wrapper?). Literally meaning, to die for or too hot, Oleku is believed to have been popularised by the classic movie of the same name, in which the lead character wears her Iro and Buba in this manner.

Even at that time, the style saw a few modifications. One version featured cropped sleeves and long wrappers, while another had cropped wrappers and long sleeves.
Today, stylish women and fashion designers alike have taken the idea to various degrees: beaded blouses with short sleeves, cropped wrappers and sleeves, modern-style tops with traditional wrappers and the ubiquitous sarong-style wrapper.
The trend has also evolved to incorporating non-traditional fabrics chiffon, silk, satin, linen in recreating this traditional style, and there is even the Oleku dress, where blouse and wrapper are sewn into a one-piece ensemble.

In all its modifications, the Oleku is a trend favourite among fashionistas of all ages. Generously worn to red carpet events, weddings, birthdays and even funerals, it does not appear to be dying out anytime soon.

Trends come and go but one thing is certain, nothing really dies as long as creative minds exist. Just as Oleku has become a fashion sensation that transcends time, class and ethnicity, a true cultural Heritage never dies; it is only reborn into something more beautiful.

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L-R: GoodLuck Linda, WOSSA Chief Welfare officer; Helen Unabor, WOSSA Chief Protocol officer; Olawale Osundele, Regional Head, Lagos Island 1, Lagos Island 1 Zone, Heritage Bank; Amb. Tayo Thomas, President of WOSSA; Dame Jennifer Omotayo-Thomas, Vice president, WOSSA and John Adah, Team Member, Corporate Communications, Heritage Bank, during the award ceremony held in Lagos to mark this year’s International Widows Day themed: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”


Heritage Bank supports over 500 widows, receives UN Award for Humanitarian Service 

Heritage Bank received the 2022 United Nations Award for Humanitarian Service from the Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), as no fewer than 500 widows and orphans in Lagos State benefitted from the Bank’s support. 

This was made known during the award ceremony held in Lagos to mark this year’s International Widows Day themed: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”.

The event was an opportunity to recognize Heritage Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles to widows, their children and other less privileged within the society.

Speaking during the awards presentation, Founder, Widows & Orphans Support Society of Nigeria (WOSSA), Ambassador Tayo Thomas, said Heritage Bank is one of the group’s key partners and has for years shown massive support to the widows. 

He said: ” Basically, we are giving this award to people and organizations that have been supporting the less privileged widows. These are our partners, they have been doing great service to humanity, especially service the less privileged widows in meeting their financial needs and those of their children”. 

Continuing, he said: “The United Nations Humanitarian Award is to appreciate and acknowledge them for their support to the less privileged widows. The United Nations Humanitarian Award is an award we give every 24th of June to those who have really supported the widows. Those who have joined us to fight against injustice against the widows. That is the reason for today”. 

Speaking at the event, Heritage Bank Regional Head, Lagos Island 1, Olawale Osundele, said the bank has for years, remained committed to improving people’s lives. 

He said: “It has always been one of our front liners to always improve the quality of people’s lives right from childhood. And today that they are marking the International Widow’s Day, we are also part of the support team to WOSSA in various aspects.”

“We have been supporting them in terms of providing quality education for children of widows to ensure that life after the death of their husband is still good to them and their children. We also support the children and orphans and the less privileged in the society,” he added.

According to Osundele, the bank’s support to the widows has always been a source of joy to them.  “It means that life still means a lot to them. You can see the joy in their faces. Despite what they are going through, they are still very happy and relevant in society,” he said. 

One of the widows at the event, Mrs. Felicia Ugwunwanne thanked Heritage Bank and WOSSA for their continuous support to the widows and less privileged. 

She said that WOSSA is through the support of partners such as Heritage Bank, making life better for the widows and their children. 

“The WOSSA has for years, been assisting so many of us, including our children and orphanages. WOSSA gives us cash, help some widows to pay their house rent, school fees for widows’ children, among other things,” she said.

Ugwunwanne said the widows under WOSSA are being trained for skills acquisition to improve the quality of their lives.

“I am aware that the WOSSA is working on securing loans from Microfinance Bank, and we have completed forms to achieve the purpose. Our members are prepared to access the loans. Some of the widows have gone to learn some skills that will enable them to invest and succeed in whatever craft or business they are doing so that they will not continue to depend on people,” she said. //END.//

Ozena Utulu, Ag. Group Head, Corporate Communications