By Lari Williams
NIGERIA can be a beautiful haven if we don’t allow her oil wells to soil her soul. She needs the creativity and the magical touch of the mystery of Arts. The nation is good but it needs to allow the Arts and entertainment to make her beautiful. We need to rebrand her but we need the clean artistic touch on her education, morals, environment and culture to make her beautiful.
Only the Arts and culture can feed Entertainment and possess the information with the ‘say’ to rebrand, restructure the Entertainment Industry and can revamp, to right out the wrongs, correct the mistakes and misunderstanding and socially redirect the nation off the woods of decadence in reminding us to live and let live so we can allow time to admire and reconcile with the Creator and nature.
The Arts Ministry needs to restructure and ask for improvement in its budget allocation to be able to meet the needs of today’s Arts sophistication, commission the sculptors to make indelible marks on the streets and walls of our time and to carve history for our tomorrow, support the painters to capture the splendor of our time and help our architect to identify our country.
Our ambassadors all over the world should invite and encourage Art performers, dancers, actors, story tellers, singers, poets to educate, entertain and inform the world about Nigeria.
The Artistes can sell a new Nigeria to the world; work with a government that appreciates the Arts. Lagos deserves its leadership in performing Arts and requires the Federal Government support to build Nnamdi Azikwe Street into a Boulevard of Entertainment centres, the likes of New York’s Broadway.
All the island of Ibeshe, Ibasa, Snake Island, Imoren, Kuramo and Badagry Beach Stretch, Tarkwa Bay and many more can be entertainment venues of course with improved waterways. Fishery will grow as an industry around the Lagos seaport which will also enhance the night beauty and night life of Lagos.
The hall mark of a people remains their ‘culture’ and tradition. The Cultural Policy of Nigeria introduced culture as the totality of the way of life evolved by a people in their attempts to meet the challenge of living in their environment which gives order and meaning to their social, political, economic, aesthetic, religion norms and modes of organization thus distinguishing a people from their neighbors.
Now, where is national effort to distinguish Nigeria from American, Japan or Australia? We need to preserve our culture by keeping our creativity and style within our cultural norms. Artistes, therefore, need the materials to support their creativity, development and sophistication to meet the demands of the world’s Art market. The national budget allocation should therefore, consider the artistes’ plight in their effort to meet their contemporaries the world over.
The Theatre is an integral aspect of the nation. For the multifarious services it renders or contributes, if could be called the “National Building Service Commission”. It is not an uprising of an illegal constituted body of cranks and social ‘drop-outs’, but normal people with the peculiar calling with mental and spiritual endowment and ‘called’ to take up the artistic service as their assignment to the nation. The “Lord Creator” thereby appoints the “Man creative and procreative”.
The Nigerian Artiste needs encouragement so as to be able to meet the steam and vibration in his creativity to make for fresh standards that would obliterate the country’s ills and introduce the socio-cultural norms acceptable and recommendable for our new social climate.
Violent and aggressive efforts have been made by Artistes to retain the National theatre as the main channel of showcasing the works of Art and for interacting with the masses but all to no avail.