Olutoyin Kuye is the CEO of Stable Of Toyin Gems and Beads and we couldn't think of anyone more qualified to show our Love Guests the ropes as they prepare to adorn themselves in Edo regalia for Saturday's coronation presentation. She's also a University of Abuja, Theatre Arts graduate and an accredited jewellery professional backed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It's precisely because of this international acclaim that her work is celebrated the world over.
After getting acquainted with everyone, Olutoyin headed out to the foyer with our Love Guests where they found an assortment of beads and twine waiting for them. Chris, who is from Edo State, briefly unpacked the culture and elaborate dress mostly worn at weddings or by royalty in accordance with their rank.
Soon our couples were hard at work creating neck pieces, bracelets and earrings with Rosie, Jerry and Jenny Koko standing out by taking on elaborate patterns and nailing them like they'd been doing it for years. Others like Iyke struggled and even had to redo their threads because their creations came out crooked, fell to the floor and unravelled or were simply too heavy to hold up without snapping.
Clearly this is one of those art forms that looks a great deal easier than it actually is. That said, judging by the number of times we heard Olutoyin genuinely exclaim, "This is beautiful!" – we're convinced that everyone is going to look regal!
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