The 2014 National Creativity Week kicked off at the Ladi Kwali Hall of the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja, on Tuesday, 22nd April 2014, in line with the Creative Africa Initiative Programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which Nigeria launched in 2008, to create awareness on the enormous potentials in the creative sector yearning for support and development.
The programme, which was organised by the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism & National Orientation, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information, is geared towards discovering and developing untapped abilities among Nigerian youths, especially among school children, the target group for the event.
In searching for young talents among school children, Miss Confidence Ngozi Eze from Government Secondary School, Garki-Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, was discovered to have immense skills in public speaking as she delivered an articulate paper on the theme of the week.
In her presentation, she defined creativity as that, which, “comes from a developed mind channelled towards creation, innovation and invention required to sustain a given society,” pointing out that many countries today had suffered lack of creativity in almost all aspects of their economies, Nigeria not being an exception.
She lamented that it is unfortunate that youths in the present generation, unlike the old generation, have clouded their minds with the quest for white collar jobs, instead of engaging in training programmes to develop their personal skills and intellectual abilities, saying it is a total failure on the side of government and the country at large.
Highlighting the transforming power of creativity in any given society, Miss Eze affirmed that, creativity can bring new economic opportunities in terms of wealth creation, employment generation, exploitation and local utilization of cultural resources and revenue generation, offering developing countries to grow their economies.
Stressing that in today’s era of globalization and technological advancement, creativity forms the core of global economy which Nigeria cannot afford to miss in ensuring her economic growth and development, she re-echoed the clarion call of the Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism & national Orientation, Chief Edem Duke at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Creativity Week in Abuja, on the need for youths to shun the craze for white collar jobs but to develop and express their creativity as a source of livelihood.
In concluding, she urged the Federal Government, “To establish organisations which will help strengthen the youth ability such as development of skill acquisition programmes, entrepreneur activities and workshops instead of promising white collar jobs that will never come. The government should call on all policy makers at all level to create workable synergies and to develop workable plans in order to harness the unlimited opportunities in the creative industry for the benefit of Nigeria. A general orientation among the youths will go a long way in changing the wrong mindset of their believing that white collar job is the only sustainable source of income for them as graduates, undergraduates, even apprentice. Creativity, personal skills and entrepreneurship should be encouraged in all aspects of our social lives.”
This year’s edition of the Creativity Week, with the theme: “Creativity: A Panacea for Transforming Nigerian’s Economy and Job Creation,” was competitive among school children to bring the best potentials out of them in order to develop them for future use; and it drew participation from Junior Secondary School, Jikwoyi; Ralinda Memorial School, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Dance and Drama Community Development Service; and Deaf Afro Mine Troupe of Nigeria.
Njideka Justina Dimgba