The Female Artists Association of Nigeria (FAAN), on Saturday, 8 March, 2014, highlighted the contributions of Nigerian women to national development at the grand opening of a two-week Art Exhibition at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory to commemorate the 2014 International Women’s Day.
President of the Association, Mrs. Ngozi Rosemary Akande in a welcome address at the exhibition, organized in collaboration with the French Institute in Abuja and Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, said notable Nigerian women have played major roles in almost every facet of national development, be it in the arts and culture, politics, science and technology, just as they have ventured into areas hitherto dominated by men, which explains why the association gave artists a free hand to paint women achievers who have touched their lives positively at the exhibition.
She regretted the fact that Nigeria is blessed with a lot of talented, intelligent and hardworking women, yet many of them pass uncelebrated, adding, “They shy away from public art functions such as conferences and art exhibitions, or from participating in politics and governance either due to the long-standing traditions of Africa which relegate them to the homes or due to the responsibility of motherhood and the challenges of child-rearing. Though their creativity is already manifest in the highly skillful home crafts that many of them produce on commercial basis which are sold across West Africa and beyond, some of the women also demonstrate great talents in professions such as painting and sculpture.”
She maintained that it was in recognition of the need to correct the imbalance and position Nigerian professional female artists in their proper place that the association is poised to properly equip them to contribute meaningfully to the development of society.
Similarly, the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, His Excellency, Jacques Champagne de Labriolle, acknowledged that no proper solution can be found in any society without the participation of women, saying, “We are now in 2014, well into the 21st century and it should be common knowledge that no sustainable solution to the most crucial social, economic and political problems of any society can be found without the collaboration of the entire society.”
According to him, all over the world, it is usually societies and movements that do not respect women’s rights that are the most prone to violence and terrorism, noting that there were many examples that conflict prevention and peace maintaining are stronger where and when women rights are respected and when there is no gender discrimination.
For the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, the contributions of professional women to national development, such as exhibited by the female artists by using their talent and creativity to induce positive changes in the Nigerian society and promote women’s rights, was certainly admirable and worthy of emulation.
Highlight of the event was a round tour at the exhibition stand where the FAAN President, Mrs. Ngozi Akande, conducted dignitaries round to show them the various art paintings and sculptures by different female artists.
Present at the exhibition was the Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma who was represented by the Acting Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs Department, Mr. Alex Omijie and his wife, Chioma, the Director-General, National Gallery of Art, Alhaji Abdullahi Muku who was represented by Mr. Mufu Onifade and other Directors from the National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), amongst others.
Corporate Affairs Unit