Blessedchoice Arts equips youth with vocational skills

By Damietta Braide

Blessedchoice Arts, in collaboration with the Bariga Artiste Forum, has trained selected youths of the Bariga community in Lagos State on the different ways of designing textiles.

The four-day skill acquisition program took place last week, and the youths were trained on Tie & Dye making, batik production, using bleaching method to create patterns on fabrics and the local way of creating patterns also called Adire Eleko.

Held with the theme, “Vocational Skills in the 21st Century”, founder of Blessedchoice Arts, Boluwatife Caleb Ayodele, said the aim was to contribute to stemming the high unemployment figure in Nigeria.

Ayodele, who is an Art Ambassador of Goge Africa, said that the workshops also sought to take advantage of the ongoing strike by university lecturers to keep young Nigerians busy.

“As the theme of the workshop states, we’re all aware of the situation of our economy and how it’s increasingly difficult to secure a good paying job in our country, especially in this 21st century. This is also coupled with the strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Instead of the affected students being idle or engaged in illegal activities, they would rather use the time to learn a skill and start making money legally with the skills they’ve learned. The same goes for retirees who are thinking of what to do to make income after their retirement. The workshop is a very good option as well,” he said.

He further revealed that only participants who showed deep interest and sincere commitment to learning the skill were picked. This, he said, keys into Blessedchoice Arts’ belief that ‘a lazy hand is the devil’s workshop’.

“We always want to do our little part to impact positively in people’s lives and the society at large. Also we’re a growing organization. We want people to know us and what we do which will help us grow faster and stronger because the more we grow the more impact we make,” he added.

Adire, as it is popularly called, is one of the reviving trends in Nigeria as it is being incorporated into modern-day fashion. Participants shared their experiences on how the training transformed and provided them with a marketable skill to compete in the business world.

“The training was very informative and educational. I never thought I could learn that much in just a few days of training, and I am very grateful to Blessed Choice Art for the opportunity,” said Fathia, a participant in the training.

Another participant, Blessing said: “Textile design has helped to broaden my creativity and has given me an avenue to express myself while making money from it.

“I advise every youth out there to exercise patience in the process of seeking knowledge and wealth.”

The training is the second edition of the Blessedchoice Arts’ annual program. The first edition was done in collaboration with Goge Africa in 2020.

Blessedchoice Arts is a registered art organization that is into art consultancy, organizing skill acquisition workshops and also creating Art works.

The training was facilitated by Agbaje Oluwaseun, Rodiat Omotayo, Fadipe Ebunoluwa, Ogunmefun Oluwakemi, and Adegoke Mercy.

The instructors are Mrs Abisola Cole (a Textile lecturer at the Federal College of Education (Technical) Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, and Ajiboye Muinat Ope, (a textile artist and founder of Moyin Textile).

At the end of the training, certificates of participation were presented to the participants.

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