Arts & Entertainments

What African creative artists should know

In March 2013, Africa was identified as the world’s poorest inhabited continent. However, the World Bank expects that most African countries will reach “middle income” status (defined as at least US$10,000 per person a year) by 2025 if current growth rates continue.

On 8 July 2019 in Cairo during the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) coordination summit, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said: “The African continent has many natural resources and raw materials that can make it the most successful and richest continent.” Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth’s total surface area and 20% of its land area. Nevertheless, what differentiates Africa from the rest of the world is her culture and tradition. It is expressed in its arts and crafts, folklore, religion, clothing, cuisine, music and languages.

The rest of the world is interested in the African arts, crafts, music, dance, masque as it is. Yet this is what most Africans are getting rid of in the name of modernity and education. For the African to get any relevance in the world today, they must be able to retain their Africanism in their creativity. This is the one reason why the Nigerian music industry thrives.

This awareness should be made clear to the creatives who aspire to be in spite of themselves. Africa has the greatest potential for performing, creative arts hub that will inspire, challenge and develop original artistic excellence. The government should endeavor to stir more interest in the creative practice by promoting the understanding, accessibility and viability of the market to Professionals, Investors and Art lovers through Vocational Institutions, Universities and the media.

The array of wealth creation possibilities embedded in the social and capacity of this sector should be fully exploited. The Nigerian entertainment industry is currently estimated to worth $4billion and expected to double subsequently. This is currently the trend globally and Nigeria is not an exception which makes it a choice area for investors as well as a viable industry that would stimulate high-level percentage of job opportunities for Nigerian youths.

There is a high level of interest in the creative, performing arts, particularly among the youths. As a result, the need to create the required skill to sustain the industry has become pertinent. The performing/ creative art industry, if properly explored offers huge potential for wealth creation that will contribute enormously to helping diversify the Nigerian economy, thus, transforming its sustainably with a growing level of youth involvement. Challenges must be identified to create a capacity platform for performing, theater arts to train, inspire, challenge and to empower youth to take advantage of the sector. Attention should be paid to offer an opportunity for interested persons who lack the needed skills in the performing industry, to create linkage opportunities for temporary and permanent jobs during or after the training, offer those already in the industry but require continuous and relevant training the opportunity to perfect their skills and most importantly to retain the African originality.

 

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