February 23rd 2018 saw epicness in its most glorious form as young creative Nigerians who have been been putting in work to develop their craft, came out with all forms of interesting work that left one too many people breathless.
It all started when artist and sculptor, Olaloye Bunmi, decided to start the hashtag, #WeAreNigerianCreatives, to celebrate and appreciate Nigerians doing great work in the creative industry.
The guidelines were pretty straightforward; you had to be a Nigerian, a creative, and tweet 3-4 examples of your work using the created hashtag.
This resulted in a rollercoaster of responses which morphed into an online collation engine with a life of its own, artists, visual artists, photographer, 3d animators, illustrators and writers even, showcasing snippets of their work—some, even coming back a second and third time around to post more of their works.
Afrofuturistic novelist and writer of the Black Panther: Long Live The King, Nnedi Okorafor also took part, who despite having already “made it”, highlighted herself on the thread as a “Naijamerican professor, rudimentary cyborg & World Fantasy, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of over 14 books of African scifi, magical futurism, juju fantasy & mystical realism”.
Among the artists and creatives—most of whom are self taught—who showcased their works were those like Josh Egesi who creates art from waste and made the biggest bottle cover art in Africa, Mohammed Agbadi, an illustrator and concept artist who garnered a lot of traction with his gripping designs. And then there was Ken Nwadiogbu had to constantly reiterate that his work was a drawing with just a Pencil, and not a picture, or print of torn paper, and some aren’t still convinced.
Others like designer, David Adamu, graphic/motion designer and illustrator, Mayowa Alabi Damilola, and Etubi Onucheyo a freelance digital illustrator presented works that spoke nothing short of hours and hours of time and commitment.
Though this exercise was geared towards Nigerians at home who may have the talent and have taken the time to overcome challenges required to develop their skill but still find it difficult to be adequately compensated or duely recognised for their efforts, a few of those in the diaspora also featured on the thread which is still going strong almost two weeks after it was created.
It is indeed a beautiful celebration and appreciation of art by Nigerians which has even gone further to inspire a #WeAreGhanaianCreatives hashtag.
We look forward to more appreciation and rewarding platforms and institutions for fields which have been for so long, seen as less than tertiary courses like medicine, engineering and law, which still see an influx of African students but whose hold, especially on those who would rather not, is not as tight-necked as it was a few years back.
Video: Moshood Shades Ridwan, shares intro to his animated series, “Garbage boy & Trash can”