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Imperialism and Loss of Identity in Second Hand Clothes: The Nigerian Okrika Experience

Mohammed Abubakar
Joseph Adesoji Oluyemi
Raji Abdulateef
Atolagbe Emmanuel
Joseph Adejoke
Taiwo Motolani Williams


The use second hand clothes in Nigerian have been around for decades. Among other benefits it provides is clothing for those who cannot afford to buy new ones and employment opportunities for the teeming population. However, the use of second hand clothes by many Nigerians seems to have eroded the rich cultural heritage of traditional dress culture which hitherto existed among many cultures and societies in the country. It has also paved way for imperialism by former colonial masters thereby, making Nigerians to succumb to pressures dictated by fashion, civilization, modernity, necessity, and survival instinct. This has further helped to forge a relationship of dependency on the West and in many ways preventing Nigeria from developing in many ramifications. This study explores the factors responsible for the continuous use of second hand clothes by Nigerians and the measures that could be put in place to ensure that this problem is addressed. Some of the measures suggested in the paper to forestalling the use of second hand clothes in Nigeria include: enforcing the law prohibiting second hand clothes in the country, import substitution, leadership by example, reducing the prevailing poverty rate and cultivating the spirit of patriotism.


Keywords: Poverty, Employment Opportunities, Brand Names, Affordability, Durability, Import Substitution, Patriotism.