By Yusuf Mohammed
I was not in support of the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) taking place in Nigeria amid the coronavirus pandemic. I was so pissed that I went to bed without watching the show.
However, one thing that consoled me was waking up in the morning to see pictures of Omashola’s fashion statement which was a reminder of this killer disease.
As far as fashion is concerned, Omashola Kola Oburoh made history on the 14th of March 2019. The BBNaija star shocked fans and colleagues with his AMVCA 2020 ‘skull’outfit.’ Initially, some Nigerians, saw it as “awkward” because there were only two cases of coronavirus in the country at the time. Now that there are 40 official cases with one death recorded and growing fears of more unknown cases, they have come to appreciate Omashola’s style. Could it be lack of empathy on the part of many Nigerians who did not believe that this virus would hit home?
His outfit, which was designed by celebrity stylist, Toyin Lawani, set social media on fire. Some hailed him, while some didn’t have nice things to say about his outfit. A style writer at The Guardian Newspaper, who should have known better, in her piece about the event, wrote that Omashola was the “worst dressed celebrity.” Well everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But in my view, the writer was in a hurry to make a report and didn’t take time to think about it. Anyone who truly understands fashion would know that time inspires style. Fashion simply means a popular or the latest style of clothing, decoration, hair or behavior. And what was the latest fashion around the world when Omashola wore that outfit? Nose mask! It’s clearly as a result of covid-19 which has claimed thousands of lives. As at the time you are reading this piece, there are over 400,000 cases world-wide.
To me, he was simply the best. Many people didn’t agree with me about two weeks ago, but almost everyone agrees with me now as the fear coronavirus made them to have a rethink.
This is a virus that has temporarily stopped Muslims from going to the mosque and Christians from going to the church. It has redefined our way of life and fashion isn’t left out.
While his AMVCA outfit passed a message, he himself gave reason behind it. Sharing pictures of his AMVCA outfit on his Instagram page @Sholzy23, he wrote:
“Corona stay da f@#k away. Fashion can also be a protest/educative not just a statement. Let’s join hands to fight Covid19.”
It was symbolic and the timing was perfect. Fashion and symbolism go hand in hand. It’s like bread and butter. On a normal day, I’m sure he wouldn’t have dressed that way. And if he had, I would agree with those who would say it’s awkward. But given the circumstance, there can’t be a bigger fashion statement.
You can express yourself by what you wear. What he wore was a reminder of the time. A time Nigerians didn’t take the coronavirus seriously. I think he deserves some accolades.