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 Abasiekeme Ukanireh, the founder of Eki Kéré, created dresses for weddings, parties and other celebrations, as many seamstresses do, when the pandemic arrived. With a halt on parties and weddings, she found herself with time to be creative, so she turned to her hometown, Ikot Ekpene, for inspiration. The town is known as the Raffia City, thanks to its people's long history of using leaves from the raffia palm tree - which is native to tropical parts of the continent - to build,
decorate and dress.

"Most people stopped buying raffia clothes
— not because they couldn't afford it or they had a cheaper option, but because they're just tired of seeing the same thing over and over again," she said. To shake things up, she uses raffia liberally, adorning the hems, pockets and sleeves of her
eccentric garments.

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