By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor
Despite the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic, one of Nigeria’s luxury department stores for African arts and crafts, Quintessence Gallery, Lagos has reaffirmed its unflinching support for the development and growth of the creative sector, especially the visual art, fashion design and literature subsectors.
CEO, Quintessence Gallery, Mr. Jude Oni-Okpaku who spoke in Lagos on the forthcoming event, Cultural Weekend being organised by the gallery, said Nigeria has a lot to offer the world than violence, corruption and chaos, which he said, are also found in every corner of the world. He observed that the abundant rich cultural wealth of Nigeria is greatly under-rated which can be used to spin the narrative. He therefore urged Nigerians to seek solutions to the country’s challenges rather than lamenting. ‘Let’s spin the narrative. Let’s not keep looking at the problems, let’s find solutions. ” he added.
Oni-Okpaku stated that Cultural Weekend became necessary as a way of bringing stakeholders together to celebrate end of year that is most trying and to chart a new path of recovery from the pandemic. According to him, ‘we are organizing the event for many reasons. Though a challenging year, what a better way than to celebrate that we have gone through the worst year in recent times and chat a new path.’
He disclosed that the 3-day event will open on November 27 till 29 at Parkview Ikoyi, Lagos will feature guest speakers such as Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, CEO Guarantee Trust bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Director General National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, Former MD Bank of Industry, Evelyn Oputu and Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzammat Akinbile-Yusuf among others.
Governor Sanwo-Olu will give the opening keynote on Government investment that will drive the arts, culture and tourism sector, while Hon. Gbajabiamila will speak on Advocating for the arts and culture through legislation. Mohamed will talk on Post COVID 19 initiatives committee for the creative industry. Akinbile-Yusuf will talk on Empowering the youth through arts, culture and tourism.
According to Oni-Okpaku the event, which has as theme How arts, culture and tourism can jump-start economic development in Nigeria, will also feature book reading by Niran Adedokun, author of The Danfo driver in all of us, art exhibition, art workshop, film viewing of Hidden treasures, charity raffle draw and networking session. Other topics to be addressed by other speakers are How GTBank supports the arts and culture through its investments, Protecting the arts and culture, and Facing the future.