Ekiti striving towards becoming Nigeria’s arts, cultural hub —Wale Ojo-Lanre

•To train youths in indigenous crafts

The Director-General of the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre has said that the vision of the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi is to make the state the country’s arts and culture hub.

Ojo-Lanre disclosed this while recieving the Oyo State governor of the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPPAN), Rose Odika, in his office  at the Ekiti State Government  Secretariat in Ado Ekiti.

The DG disclosed that  the governor and his wife, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, were conscious of the importance of arts, especially through the promotion of cultural heritage.

He said: “It is in this view that the governor deemed it fit to establish the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, with the mandate to rejuvenate, promote and develop the arts and cultural sector for the empowerment of the people, as well as the economic development of the state .”

Speaking further, Ojo-Lanre disclosed that the council had embarked on a series of sensitisation programmes, participated in cultural events and “we are also working on training youths in the creative industry with the intent of making them  vessels of rebranding and promoting our culture.”

Ojo-Lanre, however, revealed that the council was opened to ideas from corporate organisations and individuals to move the state forward through arts and culture.

Earlier, the TAMPPAN governor had said her visit was to collaborate with the council in empowering the younger generation through training in acting, cinematography, catering, pedicure and manicure, among others.

She said the programme would be part of activities lined up to mark her 30th anniversary in the movie industry.

Meanwhile, Ojo-Lanre has said that the council, in collaboration with the Bureau of Labour, Employment and Productivity, would start training youths in indigenous arts and craft in order to reduce unemployment in the state.

Ojo-Lanre stated this in the company of the Director-General, Bureau of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Mr Lanre Ogunjobi, during their visit to the Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, Oba Adejuwon Gabriel Ayodele.

Isan, the home town of Dr Fayemi, is one of the towns in the country with the highest number of skillful potters.

Ojo-Lanre said part of the assignments of the council is to resuscitate and promote the dying indigenous cottage industries, as well as  train the younger ones in the art to prevent them from going into extinction.

Mr Ogunjobi, while speaking, said his office would train and facilitate soft loans through micro credit agencies  to encourage women and youths in the business.

Oba Ayodele, while responding, said Isan women were endowed with  skills in pottery but needed funds for mass production and marketing of their products.

The traditional ruler urged the state government to rebuild and upgrade the Isan pottery centre, which was built in 1985, during Mariam Babangida’s Better Life for Rural Women initiative.