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Ata Igala inaugurates 7-member caretaker panel for ICDA

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The Ata Igala, His royal Majesty, Gabaidu, Matthew Opaluwa Oguche Akpa has inaugurated a seven member caretaker committee for the Igala Cultural Development Association (ICDA) with a charge to hit d ground running and constitute a new executive for the socio cultural organization of Igala/Bassa people of Kogi state.
Speaking during the inauguration at his palace in Idah on Tuesday, his royal Majesty declared that time has come for the voice of the Igala/Bassa people to be heard far and wide and be respected in the comity of nations.

He stressed that for that to be achieved, a credible leadership which is apolitical, competent credible, capable and committed must emerge for the new leadership of the ICDA.
His Majesty expressed his desire to ensure that igala Bassa nation regains it’s lost glory being among the first ten ethnic nationalities in the country.
He assured the committee of his utmost support for d success of their assignment but warned them to be guided against any acts of sabotage from within and outside.

Responding on behalf of the committee, the chairman, pastor Immanuel Ameadaji assured of the resolve of the committee to do a good job that will stand the test of time and equally produce a credible leadership for ICDA. Other members of the committee are Mrs Comfort Musa secretary, Chief doctor elukpo, Barrister salihu Ahmed, Bartholomew Ademu, Honourable Gowon Omale and Chief Ibrahim Atadoga.

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Young Artist tells government to encourage Art to boost Nigeria’s economy

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Miss Ifunanya Anunobi and her work
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By Ekuson Nw’Ogbunka Abuja

A young artist, Miss Ifunanya Anunobi has advised the government at levels to encourage Art in order to boost the country’s economy.

Anunobi, a graduate of History and International Studies from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who has chosen to go into her talent, art, addressed journalists recently in Abuja.

The Artist making explanations about her Artworks

Making her points, she said that Artists, if encouraged would not only be self-employed, but also train many others who, according to her would stand on their own, without depending on the government for employment.

Explaining why she ventured into the profession, she said: “At the age of 12, I tried replicating a cartoon I saw and discovered my knack for drawing. Over time, I developed a habit of drawing anything I saw, finding solace and joy in the process.”

She continued: “Encouraged by my uncle, the former Police Service Commission Chairman, Chief Simon Okeke, I decided to transition into a full-time artist after my youth service in Abuja in 2022. I received validation of my talent from my uncle, who emphasized that it was a gift from God.
“With his encouragement, I delved deeper into art, progressing from drawing to painting, allowing me to express myself fully.”

When asked, if she was being coached by any expert, she said: “I seek advice concerning Art from people like the president of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), Mr Mohammed Suleiman and I do also talk to some Artist friends I met in Abuja here for guidance.”

She acknowledged the challenges of the profession, including emotional strains and financial instability but has decided to remain dedicated to her craft, by planning a solo exhibition in Abuja to showcase her works.

When pressed further, she responded thus: “I can say yes, because this is a passion and talent and it gives me joy. Although, I like what I studied in the university, but as you can see, this is my talent and the passion I have for it has overtaken what I studied in the university.”

When asked if she was being assisted by the government, having been able to come out with such beautiful Artworks, she responded thus: “I haven’t, but what I have been doing is participating in competitions, if you are lucky, you get it, if you aren’t, you won’t. However, what I would like the government to do is to encourage the art market, because the market is poor and thus affecting the upcoming Artists.

“And if there is an exhibition opportunity, we the upcoming artists won’t be able to participate, because most of us don’t have money to pay for spaces in a gallery. Even if you are able to participate, most Nigerians would just come, look at the Artworks and go without buying any. So to that, I urge Nigerians to become more interested in art and support artists, because art is also an investment. The Artwork you bought at say, N100 thousand can be resold at N2 million in about four to five years time.

Reiterating why the government should come in to empower those in the profession, the young artist has this to say: “If empowered, we shall contribute immensely to the economy, in the areas of teaching and training people who will be on their own. “By so doing, you have generated employments and the economy will be growing. So I advise Nigerians and the governments at all levels to encourage art and emerging artists who try their best to bring in colours to our turbulent society.”

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Elu Ohafia elders denounce election by Elu Development Union

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***Describe it as violation of Native customs, traditions

The Commity of Elders (Nde Ichin-Ukwu) and Ikwu of Elu Ohafia a community in Abia State has disclaimed the election conducted by the Elu Development Union (EDU) on the 30th day of March, 2024.
The elders described the election as a violation of the Native customs and traditions of the Elu Ohafia community.
A joint communique issued by the elders indicated that, “The electoral committee led by Lekwa Ezuta Udonsi was constituted by a Regent (Engr. Uma Agbai Olugu) without lawful authority in violation of customs on the 24th day of March.
The Communique which was signed by Iroha Kalu, Paul Emetu and others on behalf of the Nde Ichin-Ukwu while Oko Agwu Anaga of Umu-Nnechi, Agbai Oti of Umu-Unadu and others signed on behalf of Ikwu Nwo Ali
The Communique indicated that at a time the community was mourning Ezie Prof. E. U. L. Imaga, “It is unfortunate that the conduct of some persons suggest that they are not mourning with the community.

“We call on all indigenes of Elu Ohafia to remain law abiding and continue to give their unalloyed support to all institutions of governance established by and during reign of Ezie Prof. E. U. L. Imaga and remain focussed on giving our departed Monarch a befitting funeral
The elders denounced and dissociated themselves from the election and by this declare the outcomes of no effect.

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US Govt moves to initiate programmes that will boost Nigeria’s Creative Economy

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The United States government has indicated its readiness to collaborate with the Ministry of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy to roll out initiatives that will bring about creative success in music and television script writing.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Lee Satterfield made this known when she paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Art Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa in Abuja on Thursday.
Special Adviser on media and publicity Nneka Ikem Anibeze in a statement quoted Satterfield to have indicated that the US government will use public diplomacy platforms, including people-to-people diplomacy, to revolutionize the growing opportunities in the music, art and literary fields.

“The Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau at the State Department plays a lead role primarily in building relationships and people-to-people diplomacy across a wide variety of sectors, education mostly, but also in cultural heritage.

“So in addition to the robust programs we already do in the culture space, we have announced 3 new initiatives. One is for television production, to bring Nigerian TV production directors to the University of Southern California to work directly with American executive producers and directors.
This she said will help them to create the shows, and to be mentored and use the American network to help bolster that sector.

“Secondly, with the recording academy, we announced a music program where the Recording Academy will find American mentors who are members of the Recording Academy to bring Africans from the continent.
“I think 5 of the participants out of 20 will be Nigerians. And this is to bolster the music industry, not just musicians, but those who want to be in the business. It is exactly what you’re talking about, wanting to be in the business so we can pair them with Americans to talk about best practices and how to go into the field of music.

“We want to really create this ecosystem in the music space with these recording academy members. Secretary Blinken announced that the program will take place in October of this year. So we are really excited”.

Earlier, the Minister cited Intellectual Property securitization on copyright, lack of infrastructure, and the need to industrialize the sector as key grey areas that yearn for collaborations and investment in order to bring value into the country.

“Infrastructure is key. Part of our road map and strategy is to build the Abuja Creative City, which is going to be a one-stop shop for everything creative. “In addition to the creative city, we are willing to work with different governments, organizations, and institutions to see how we can bring value both ways and really monetize the sector. So in a nutshell, we are looking at 3 key pillars.; Cultural expansion, Economic expansion, and job creation.

“The fourth is our robust initiative called Destination 2030 which we hope to use to reposition Nigeria on the global stage. We really want to get input from you and see how you can help us to invest in this industry, to help Nigeria and these generations through job creation.
“So, really, the door is open for business, for discussions, for collaborations, areas of alignment, and to continue the conversation on how we can also contribute our quota and our content to America.”

In attendance also was Peter Burba First Secretary, US Embassy, Catherine Collins, Director of Film, TV and Digital Media Programs US Department of State, Ali Nuhu, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation and Obi Asika, Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture.

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