Hi lovelies, I have a special announcement to make. We would be having special #ResonateArt posts on Beautiful Thoughtz from the owner of Ise Owo. You can check out Ise Owo’s Facebook page here. The owner of Ise Owo is another Facebook friend on the blog, and his name is Ezekiel Onitiju.
Wondering what Ise Owo is about? It’s an African art and crafts and handmade focused online retail platform.
A direct translation of Ise Owo in Yoruba means ‘work made by the hands’.
This is his #ResonateArt story and perspective to the African art and crafts industry.
I am passionate about discovering creativity in young people and I help in strategy to monetise their talents while adding value to them.
I am a Creative. My passion for creative writing in the area of poems earned me literary award nominations in the US while I completed my course in Sociology and graduated from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
In the course of a compulsory one year National Youth Service in Nigeria, I encouraged the students at my Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) who had enthusiasm for art and crafts to do what they loved.
As a way to encourage the youth in my community, I decided to create an online platform to motivate young people with different talents, most especially those who choose to learn a skill by showcasing their handmade products online.
Over the course of 6 months, people across the world have shown interest in showcasing their handmade products like Ankara designed bags, paintings of African ancient communities.
My view as regards art and craft in Nigeria is, it has been a neglected area for some time until recently when people began to see beyond formal education and had access to things young people can do to earn a living.
It prompted young minds to be motivated and bring to life their sense of creativity by coming up with handmade products that are artistic and showcase African beauty.
For example, a few years ago, I decided to make hand bands with beads and sold some of them before changing my path to celebrating handmade products through technology. I did this through my friend, Ikuseru Ayodele who taught me how to make such hand bands with beads.
I believe developing young people and integrating art and craft in primary school activities to higher institutions will help the economic sustainability of Nigeria.
That’s one of the reasons we have the companies selling Nigerian products online. Some of the popular ones are Jumia, Kaymu and Konga. We also have more media houses supporting and partnering with organisers of various projects to promote African art.
As part of the growth of my business, I will be partnering with other agencies who are in support of a course like this and also integrate making hand made products into curriculums from primary schools to higher institutions in the next ten years.
As much as I like to celebrate Africa through handmade products, I also love meeting people who are creative in their own way and using what they have to celebrate the beauty of Africa.
What do you think guys?
Are you into arts and crafts in Nigeria?
Do you wish to reach out to Ezekiel?
Check out our other #ResonateArt series
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Have a lovely weekend