Seni, the son of Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki is gradually carving a niche for himself.
The 23 year old and his partners have sealed a juicy collaboration with sports equipment giants, Nike.
Still basking in the euphoria of the success of the Nigerian National team jersey which enjoyed world-wide acclaim during the last World Cup, Nike has partnered with Seni Saraki through his youth-focused Magazine, The Native, to produce a specially-designed jersey aptly tagged Nike by The Native.
Interestingly, the jersey which has been officially launched by Nike last month sold out within minutes of its release!
The special edition jersey which has a distinct tyre marks that take inspiration from the popular Yoruba tie and dye fabric, Adire.
The tyre marks also depict the street style football fondly known as monkey post where disused car tyres are often used as goal posts-this will certainly resonate amongst football-loving Nigerians.
Thats not all, emblazoned on the back of the jersey is the word “Ile” which means home in his native Yoruba language.
According to Seni who designed the jersey which also features +234 on the sleeve, referencing Nigeria’s international dialing code, the design is a tribute to the millions of Nigerians living in the diaspora who retain close ties to home.
He told CNN “For us to do a collaboration with Nike, the main thing was to make the jersey representative of Nigeria, the people in Nigeria and the Nigerians in diaspora so they can all feel proud wearing it”
” We thought it would be cool to have an actual Nike jersey with a local Nigerian language on it. That’s unheard of , that’s never happened before”.
He told The Boss “We wanted to create something that wouldn’t look out of place on the field and on the strets. In Nigeria, the football shirt has always been a vital piece in anyone’s wardrobe. Taking inspiration from Adire (traditional Nigerian clothing) and the street football culture with the tyre marks, we wanted to create a jersey that felt like home,” Seni stated
Saraki who along with The Native Co- founders Suleiman Shittu, Teniola “Teezee” Zaccheaus, Olusola Fagbemi and Ademide Edgar form the design team, is optimistic that this will be a worthy partnership.
Seni who runs a football academy in his native Kwara State is upbeat that this collaboration will lead to other positive partnerships between young Nigerians and global brands.
The special jersey with its official release and success will certainly mean the beginning of what may just be a long term symbiotic relationship.
Founded in 2016, Lagos-based The NATIVE is dedicated to telling stories predicated on the Naija attitude. Its origins are in music, explicitly in covering Afrobeats, but as the outlet has progressed it has absorbed everything that surrounds the scene — fashion, skating and, of course, football.
It began as a print publication but now has metamorphosed into an agency and annual musical festival.