Abuja, Dec. 6, 2017 (TNE) Mr Kingsley Okafor, National president of Artwalk, says Nigeria’s creative industry has the potential of boosting the economic development of the country.
Okafor spoke at the “Abuja Art walk for Peace”, organised by ‘Art walk Exhibition and Event’ on Tuesday night in Abuja.
“We cannot be in recession when we have artistes that can contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our country.
“Nollywood is the third best movie industry in the world but piracy has negatively sapped away the financial benefits of the sector, leaving the actors broke and begging.
“10 per cent of jobs in the United Kingdom is provided by the creative sector; According to statistics, 6,000 people visit the British Museum monthly and they pay US$ 20 each, imagine such in Nigeria.
“There is the absolute need for patronage of artworks by Nigerian artistes to enhance their living condition and indirectly contribute to the GDP of the country,” he said.
He also appealed to Nigerians to patronise artworks produced by local artistes, adding that most artistes are talented and they regularly put out beautiful artworks but “with low patronage.”
“Artwalk is new in our orientation. There are so many young, creative artistes whose works end up in their homes.
“We are therefore appealing on Nigerians to patronise artworks of these artistes.
Okafor said that the objective of the event is to create a hub for artistes to showcase their works.
Also speaking, Mr Emeka Ogwuju, the Chief Executive Officer of ‘Nigerian Entrepreneurship and Honours’, said creativity and entrepreneurship should be of importance to artistes.
“Promoting and celebrating entrepreneurship in Nigeria is of great importance to us. And the reason we come here is to ensure that entrepreneurs will be encourage to patronise artworks.
“If we get the likes of Dangote, Mike Adenuga and others to patronise artworks by Nigerian artistes, it will go a long way to make them live fine.
“Also, we can get corporation organisations like Access Bank, GTBank and others to patronise artworks.
“That is why we are partnering with Artwalk so that artistes will have the platform to earn a living,” he said.
Some of the artworks were displayed at the venue of the event and other locations in Gana Street.
Highlight of the event include dance from the Gbegele group and spoken words from Okechuckwu Iwella and others.
Guests were also conducted round the various artworks in three locations at Gana Street of the Federal Capital Territory to have a glimpse.