Participants express divergent views on Art, Craft Expo

Abuja, Sept. 19, 2017 (TNE)  A cross section of participants in the African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC 2017), have expressed divergent views on the level of preparation and its impact on patronage of goods at the Expo.

Revealing their reactions on Tuesday in Abuja, they offered suggestions on how the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) could improve on subsequent expos.

Mouhammed Sene from Senegal said since the event was declared open earlier on Sept. 5, patronage has been low, “but we thank God. This year, organisation of security is slightly better than that of last year. However, I would like the NCAC to do more on publicity and advertisement of the event on radio, television and other media outlets.

“They should also reduce the participation fees, especially for those of us from other countries; this is because we spend over N200,000 to fly down here for the expo. We paid N40,000 to participate unlike before when it was free.”

Abba Ali (Mai Tolari) from Chad said,“ I deal in perfumes and incense. However, the patronage is low. Another challenge we are facing is that when it rains, water penetrates into our shop and destroys some of our items.

“NCAC should try to ensure that the pavilions are constructed in such a way that water will not penetrate into it,’’ Ali said.

Mrs Hanatu Simon, from Senegal, said that she enjoyed the exhibition but added “the patronage is not high as we expected; patronage in the previous year was better than this year. Recession may be a factor affecting the sales. Also, this September children are returning back to school; parents are thinking of paying school fees instead of
buying clothes.

“I will advise the NCAC to fix the expo in the month of November, which is towards Christmas period, by then people will be preparing to buy clothes for the celebration. That is when they will patronise us more than now that children are resuming school,’’ Simon said.

However, a Nigerian participant, Ms Ijeoma Ugwuata, Chief Executive Officer of `C-Crunches,’ also known as `Kwulikwuli,’ said the expo gave her the opportunity to showcase her products.

Meanwhile, Mr Martins Onwueme from the Delta State Council for Arts and Culture said they were there to get both local and international markets for the state’s arts and crafts.

“That is why we brought a lot of arts and crafts to the expo. We have always been coming to the event except in 2014 and 2015.

“Our participation has helped to promote our local arts and crafts; men and women in the state because they have been able to establish contact within and outside the country.”

The Expo which ended on Sept. 17, had participants from countries like Chad, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Mali and Gambia.

From Nigeria the following States participated – Abia, Benue, Bayelsa, Delta, Nasarawa, Kogi, Delta, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Ogun and Taraba.


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