A female artist, Chioma Favour Okoli has said that what inspired her to venture into the art business is to inspire the girl child in Africa to explore and go beyond her limits.
Chioma who is an Anambra based curator said the African society has a way of limiting the dreams of the girl child, but with her art, she has devoted more time in inspiring young African girls to do good things in the society.
The a multi-disciplinarian artist who works for a private a private museum in Anambra State said because of her passion for art, she was nominated to represent Nigeria at the 2020 Art Connects Women in Dubai where she presented a work tagged ‘the last supper’, which was an all-women at the last supper.
“The main thing that inspired me to venture into art because of the whole idea of African women, under girl child initiative, we have issues which we are still battling, trying to find a stand and preach to the African society that every girl child has a voice, so through my works I try to speak to them, so this is where I drive my whole inspiration from.
“The world is a big place, so I use my work to teach the girl child how to explore her world positively, and do something good in the society, that is what is driving me.
Speaking about the 2020 Dubai Conference, Chioma said “Art Connects Women was done under the patronage of UNESCO, this program brought together about 215 works from 115 countries in which Nigeria was represented by me. It was an all-female art affair in which they were able to do both conferences and also award night and cultural night.
“We were able to exhibit some art works that spoke to various individuals. At the conference, I presented a work I tagged ‘the last supper’, it was an all-women at the last supper.
Chioma, who has spent over 5 years as a professional artist, said part of her challenge is when deprived of an opportunity which she merits on the basis that she is a woman.
She further stated that lack of grants and people trying to take advantage of her before assisting has also formed part of her greatest challenge but in all she has made major breakthroughs despite the challenges.
“Part of my challenges as a female artist is when I am deprived of an opportunity which I merit on the basis that I am a woman. Sometimes I am given conditions before I can get something, it has been a great challenge to me because if you accept those conditions, you won’t be able to achieve what you want to achieve.
“Being in society where grants are not quite accessible is a big challenge for me and being in an environment where art is not appreciated is also a challenge for me. Some people even ask why I chose art as a business and how I make money from it, they encourage me to leave art and venture into other businesses”, she said.
“Nigeria has to believe that art can help it come out of its economic challenges, there are so many revenues that can be raised through art, we lack maintenance, Nigeria can employ artists to maintain its art works and heritages which can attract tourists and create wealth for the country”, she added.