Art is life……
Crafts is the good…..
Tourism is the lifestyle….
One fact I know of my nature is, i am nomadic right from my youth days. I follow the art and tourism. Want to go everywhere, see everything there to be seen. Always hungry to consume what nature has to offer. From appreciating structurtal sites, to foods, cultural appeal. Whatever there is to it.
That was the drive that has taken me around few West African countries. As a craftsman, I was always taken in by the vast display of craftmanship and the variety of style at such forum. The desire to see that level of organised craft show that will draw participants from nook and cranny of Africa countries assembling their wares in Calabar was top on my agenda when I settled here seven years ago.
I love craft, no doubt about that and with the knowledge acquired over the years, to be part of setting up such event would have been fullfilling. But the idea was a bit late coming because the time I came in was a transitional period of handing the leadership baton of the state to a newly elected government. The then outgoing leadership laid a foundation for such effort but the incoming goverment has a different agenda.
We were adviced to form association! We did. Yet the desire to create a vibrant art and craft industries that will service and create a pool of artisans and craftsmen manufacturing small small tourist art and crafts has not materialised. Even the land earmarked to build the Art and Craft Village right at the Cultural Center had been sold out to private developer to build a shopping complex.
The good thing is leadership will always change hand. If and when the new leaders emerges which would be in a couple of months, less than a year. People of like mind like myself will still find a way of actualising that dream of establishing art and craft industry around here.