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Cultural Entrepreneurs Tell The Untold Stories At AWCA – Episode III

Here is the last episode and definitely not the least of our time at AWCA. We hope you enjoy this last episode, it is  a wrap of the panel discussion at AWCA.

It’s so sad, right? But definitely interesting and intriguing.

We continue with Tola Akerele of Bogobiri, used to work in finance, what was missing to her at the time when she came back was the African essence to our hangout spots, it wad all so Western. Bogobiri started out as a boutique hotel and grew out from there. It has always been an artistic space showcasing a positive Africa. Being different made it stand out, from the music to the food to the interior decoration. Bogobiri expanded to a cultural hub with a gallery, event space, meeting rooms etc. The essence of Bogobiri is in the Nigeria flavour being served. There is also a course for creative entrepreneurs . An interior design business came out of it and Bogobiri is still evolving, moving out of their comfort zones to make it important to all that find it.


Tola Akerele

So people feed your creative side and keep the artistic ball moving.

For Ada Umeofia who is an architect and the designer at the OS Space, being idealistic held her back till she visited the realistic side. Architecture is her passion, the drive to keep designing motivated her. Organizing her thoughts as well as starting up her own business pushed her to be better, to design better.


Ada Umeofia

Looking at her creative side from the realistic side of things changed her life, it meant going back to school, starting up her own business. The step by step change to how she thought of things as a creative living in the idealistic world to a creative in reality, changed her life and is heavily evident in all she does

Tom Saater gives a presentation that is a random selection of his work. He started out of pure passion with no intentions of making money out of it. He was homeless for 7 years, he made friends with the regular group at  newspaper stands.  He was fascinated with the wars in the papers and his life of the street. He wrote to editor of TIME  magazine to work as an assistant. Photography started for him on the street, borrowing cameras to take photos.


Tom Saater

Along the line he met a photographer who acted as a mentor in his life. When TIME came to Nigeria, he was given an opportunity that amazed him. It changed his life,he wasn’t on the streets of Nigeria anymore, he was taking pictures in Spain, Ethiopia, UK but to mention a few. Photography is his own medium to talk about things happening around the world.

Tom says I have no intention of being rich, I do this because it is my passion.

AWCA decides to tell their own story. People who come to AWCA just see the medium, the structure, the walls, it is indeed a white space, but it is more than that. It focuses on building these three strands, photography, visual illustration and videography. The mission is to be a space that exposes and help young creatives, give them a platform where they have no limitations. It is a canvas space that doesn’t have boundaries for creatives. Their visitors and members grew organically. They realized most of the creatives that visited needed guidance and then they started managing creatives, to enable them understand the balance between being creative and making a living.

They show their lists of people who they represent at the moment. Their event Big 60 which is a 60 day installation at AWCA, it transforms into a space that features  music, live performance, restaurants, exhibitions, screen shot films etc. Fun, right?
They have worked on so may installations, like British Council, Lagos Fashion And Design Week (showroom) etc.

People confused the space which wasn’t the agency it grew into. Management, installations, consulting agency is what the creative agency does. The space has evolved. It has become A Whitespace Creative Agency not just A Whitespace.

The panel discussion was formed to mention how important it is to make people understand their creativity and the challenges faced, but most importantly telling the creative story from creatives themselves.

Papa Omotayo

Papa Omotayo

Papa asks the panelist if they think they have been successful. To each and every one of them success is rated personally. To Tom it’s being able to afford his ticket to wherever, to Tola it’s the sense of accomplishment every day. To Wana, it is being able to sponsor her business ventures.

What is success to you?

The audience have a moment to ask questions as regards what they have heard. Beautiful interaction session.

The interaction after the panelists spoke their peace was fun, the banter was refreshing, these are people you won’t ordinarily speak to because you’re not sure they would entertain a conversation with you. The power to become a creative community that stands together drives this discussion, the ideas that are thrown around makes it enlightening beyond words. As it has been said a thousand times, ideas rule the world and knowledge is power. Put yourself out there and explore the doors that have been open to you.


Looking forward to seeing you at the next event.

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