Why Nigerian art, craft not enjoying international acceptance

The Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Segun Runsewe, lamented on Sunday that poor packaging was hampering the acceptance of Nigeria’s arts and crafts internationally.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Mr Runsewe said that a lack of proper packaging had posed a major challenge to the patronage of arts and crafts made in Nigeria on the international market.

He said, however, that the NCAC had started working on helping arts and crafts makers to package their crafts to make them marketable and acceptable locally and internationally.

“This is part of the reason why we are empowering Nigerian women and youth in arts and crafts making. So far we have trained over 750 youths and women across the country.”

Mr Runsewe advised Nigerians not to despise any trade, particularly in the arts and culture sector.

He disclosed that people making their daily bread from arts and crafts had been living big, narrating how a make-up artist “drives one of the best cars in Nigeria today”.

The NCAC chief argued that the notion among some people that non-university graduates were useless was wrong.

According to him, a lot of people in the arts and culture sector, who have not gone through the four walls of the university are ‘smiling to the banks’ at present.

“There is this lady in Lagos, who only does makeup and gele (headgear), she drives one of the best cars in Nigeria today.

“There is this impression that once you do not have first or second degree you are useless but in the crafts sector, everybody is useful.

“Even if someone made F9 in school, such a person is useful in the culture and tourism sector.

READ ALSO: Court jails Council for Arts DG, Runsewe, for contempt

“You don’t need a PhD to knit the best mat. Some of the artworks in our office as we speak run into millions of naira.

“So, this sector has the key to taking Nigerians out of poverty and unemployment,” he said.

Mr Runsewe said that people with talents in arts and crafts ought to be encouraged, irrespective of their status and educational backgrounds.

He said that the NCAC was playing its part in helping talents in the crafts sector to actualize their potential.

He re-stated that skills acquisition was one of the six-point agenda of his administration as outlined in the mandate of the NCAC.


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