…As 3 Nigerians injured in fresh xenophobic attacks in South Africa***
Three Nigerians who have beaten significant odds to contribute to the growth of the nation were on Tuesday in Benin City recognized by the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Olusegun Runsewe.
The personalities included Mrs Florence Robinson, Mr James Ikemsinachukwu and Lancelot Imasuen.
They were recognized during the National Festival of Arts and Culture Roundtable on Entrepreneurship, held at the Akenzua Cultural Centre, Benin City, Edo.
Runsewe said that these creative Nigerians had become successful in their chosen career having made the nation proud.
According to him, their story will encourage Nigerian youths and students who attended the occasion, to develop entrepreneurship skills and be responsible citizens.
Mrs Florence Robinson, trained her children through the university by selling ‘akara’, which is made from beans.
Robinson urged the youth to embrace whatever trade they are capable of embarking in, adding that people should see dignity in labour, because it was more dignifying than stealing or commercial sex work.
“I started frying “Akara” in Kaduna until I moved to Benin and I have achieved a lot from it; my children are now university graduates,” she said.
Also, recognised was James Ikemsinachukwu, a multi-talented 14-year old photographer, who also plays guitar, drums and sings.
Ikemsinachukwu said he became a photographer at 4-years old, and excelled in it. “I developed the passion when my father gave me a toy camera as a birthday present.
“I became a professional after my father taught me how to use the camera and I later went to School of Photography.’’
According to him, he has been to seven states of the federation to work.
“There is nothing one cannot achieve if the determination and passion is there,” he said.
Similarly, Lancelot Imasuen, a film maker and content producer, who was also recognised advised youths to take every opportunity that comes their way seriously.
Imasuen, 48 year-old, said he embraced the creative industry when he was nine years old and had practiced in the industry for 39-years with lots of hurdles, which he overcame due to determination.
He advised the youth to embrace a craft or an art, regardless of their academic background.
“You can make a living from arts even while in school, it is a lucrative industry for anyone to embrace.
“The entertainment industry in Nigeria is large; movie, fashion, music, arts, crafts and more; these are capable of generating enough jobs for the youth.
“Individual practitioners have operated in the industry due to their passion for it without government support,” he said.
He advised the Federal Government to focus on the creative industry, to create employment opportunities.
Imasuen also called for the establishment of a drama festival, which was also capable of boosting the nation’s internally generated revenue and tourists’ flow into the country.
According to him, it has become imperative to provide solutions and address the problem of unemployment in Nigeria.
Earlier, Mrs Ndidi Aimienwawu, Director-General, Centre for Black Arts and African Civilization (CBAAC), encouraged the youth to acquire entrepreneurial skills to enhance their finances.
Ugonna Ibe, Enugu State Commissioner for Tourism, said that government could not provide all the jobs the masses needed but could provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
He urged youths to look inward, be creative and embrace the creative industry.
In another development, three Nigerians were among other foreign nationals who on Tuesday suffered from fresh xenophobic attacks on foreigners in different locations of Witbank, Mpumanlaga Province, South Africa.
The National Spokesperson of the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA), Mr Odefa Ikele, who confirmed this also noted that the attacks started in the early hours of the morning.
Tuesday’s attacks are coming on the heels of efforts by Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure they found amicable and lasting solution to the xenophobia in the latter’s country.
Such peace efforts saw Buhari visiting Ramaphosa and holding a town hall meeting with the Nigerian community.
“Groups made up of community members and taxi drivers went to different areas in Witbank attacking foreign-owned businesses and foreigners.
“Three Nigerians are injured, but no death case for now. Some of our nationals are seeking refuge at Witbank Police Station,’’ he said.
According to NUSA, the affected Nigerians are still taking refuge at the police station at Witbank.
The details of the incident are still sketchy but NUSA also said that Police in the area have intervened and warned people to stay away from the Central Business District in the town.