Creativity will Witness Unprecedented Boost in 2017, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that the creative industry will experience an amazing turn around in few months. He made this known while speaking in Lagos few days ago while speaking at the stage performance of a play Itan (Story) at the National Theatre by the Thespian Family Theatre and Production.

He further said that between February 28 and March 6, the British Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Information will be running a capacity building workshop for festival managers all over Nigeria. He said what creative people needed was a ‘creative economy’ because their creative abilities should be able to attract commensurate financial rewards. 

‘It is not enough to see a fantastic performance like we see here today, but the actors must be able to translate their talent to money. There is no reason why while a creative artist should die poor because in other parts of the world, the richest people are the people whose products are based on intellectual creativity’.

The minister also said that he would be presenting the amended National Endowment for the Arts Act to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and subsequent forwarding to the National Assembly. He said the amended Act would make it possible for young artists to have access to grants and funds to finance their works. He therefore appealed to the rich and philanthropists to invest more in the creative industry, noting that everywhere in the world, the industry is sustained by philanthropists.

In a little something that appeared like a twist, he thanked Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode for his cooperation. He revealed that Lagos State had offered to assist to renovate the main bowl of the National Arts Theatre, two cinema halls, the exhibition lobby and the banquet hall. According to him, the renovation which would be completed for use at the grand finale of the ‘Lagos at 50 celebration’ would breathe new life into the National Arts Theatre. He appealed to other governors to look at the creative industry as a local industry which could be annexed to create more jobs for the people.
‘It may be slow, but I want to assure you that this government will move the creative industry from the margin to the main stay of the economy.We are going to strengthen our law enforcement and ensure that illegal reproduction of your works by pirates become a thing of the past.’

                    Synopsis of the Stage Play Itan (Story)

According to the director of the play, Mrs Ayodele Jaiyesinmi, the inspiration for ‘Itan’ evolved from youth-restiveness and tensions in the country caused by generational divide. The plot structure revovles around four generations with their own uniqueness and feeling of divide.The older ones feel frustrated and right off the younger ones thinking that they are too nonchalant and too fluid in their ways. At the same time, the younger ones just don’t like the older ones because they are very procedural. Hence, the play captures the challenges of generational divide vividly, its effects on the society and supposed solutions that can be explored.

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Credit: NAN, Pulse News

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