Why Nigerian Art, Craftsmanship Not Enjoying International Acceptance

The general manager of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Segun Runsewe, lamented on Sunday that poor packaging was hampering the acceptance of Nigerian handicrafts internationally.

Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Mr Runsewe said the 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 helping arts and crafts creators 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 youths 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 business, especially in the arts and culture sector.

He revealed that people who made their daily bread from handicrafts lived well, recounting how a makeup artist “drives one of the best cars in Nigeria today”.

The head of the NCAC argued that the idea among some people that non-university graduates were useless was wrong.

According to him, many people in the arts and culture sector, who have not crossed the four walls of the university, are “smiling at the banks” at the moment.

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

“There’s this feeling that once you don’t have a first or second degree, you’re useless, but in craftsmanship, everyone is useful.

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

READ ALSO: Court jails CEO of Runsewe Arts Council for contempt

“You don’t need a PhD to knit the best rug. Some of the artwork in our office as we speak is in the millions of naira.

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

Mr Runsewe said people with talents in arts and crafts should be encouraged regardless of their status and background.

He said the NCAC is playing its part in helping talent in the craft industry realize their potential.

He reaffirmed that skills acquisition was one of the six points of his administration’s agenda, as outlined in the NCAC’s mandate.


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