Imagination Drives Budding Petroleum Engineer's Passion for Fashion
As a student searching for the golden fleece in Petroleum Engineering at Covenant University, a typical day in school for her is a very busy one. Yet, Light Chibueze, currently in her 300 Level, manages to find time to pursue her passion. Her sight is focused on emerging the next big thing in the African fashion industry and within the shortest possible time. To achieve this, she is harnessing a blend of hard work, tenacity, and vision-driven purpose. At leisure, she is busy sketching design abstracts with the prospect of metamorphosing into finished fashion works.
Light discovered her love for fashion as a senior secondary school student. She started undergoing tutelage in sewing but stopped after a while because she was dissatisfied with what she was taught. However, with support from her mom (now late), she got a sewing machine with which she resumed honing her sewing skills.
At Covenant, the University's Centre for Entrepreneurial Development Studies (CEDS) has been the incubation hideout for Light. Here, she conceptualizes and practicalizes what she loves doing most - designing clothes for herself and colleagues. In apparent validation of her fast-growing prowess in fashion designing, she single-handedly made almost all her Sunday church wears during her second year in school. "Presently, I make skirts and trousers for me, and my friend for our class wears," she said.
The young fashionista plans to carve a niche for herself in an industry largely dominated by western brands. Though conscious of the inherent challenges, Light has a clear vision of how to fulfil her dreams. "I am determined to open up the fashion industry in Africa. I researched and checked the list of top fashion brands, and almost all were from Italy, none from Africa. I'm going to change this," she said.
The devout Christian said, back in 2019, while meditating and waiting for direction from God on how to proceed with her dream for the fashion industry, the Holy Spirit inspired her to pen down some thoughts. According to her, these revelations had come to serve as the backbone of her survival and drive in fashion.
"I'm determined to open up the fashion industry in Africa; I browsed, checked the list of top fashion brands, and almost all were from Italy, none from Africa. I checked and saw that among the top 100 most influential women in the world since 2004, none was from Africa. I'm determined to show the world that Africa too can be a top-class continent in the fashion industry, and we can also have a woman from Africa in the Forbes list of most powerful women," she mused.
Initially hesitant about sharing her passion with her dad, Light was surprised when he gave her his unfettered support and played a crucial role in getting her business name registered. She has also enjoyed financial support from him at different times.
Light said that these dreams might look impossible to the ordinary man, but they are accomplishable because of the God factor in play. "I believe fashion can be beautiful without doing nudes and ungodly fashion work, and that is the realm that I'm taking my fashion aspiration to," she said.
While asserting that she had developed the discipline to put her passion on hold when on campus, she reveals she still creates time to design and build something new anytime an idea runs through her head. She noted that taking care of her siblings when at home had been very tasking, but she still has the time to sketch and design. "However, I'm becoming better in managing my time and scheduling my activities," she quipped.
Miss Light Chibueze working on a fabric at the Covenant University Centre For Entrepreneurial Development Studies, and magnificently accoutred in the finished work.