Turn trash to cash, Ekundayo tells new government
The founder, Nike Art Gallery, Chief Mrs. Nike Ekundayo, has challenged the new government to invest in the recycling and upcycling of plastic waste at the ‘Trash to Treasure’ workshop held at her Art gallery in Abuja where she hosted dignitaries from the diplomatic community.
Mama Nike as she is popularly called, revealed that plastic waste can be upcycled into beautiful artistic pieces that can serve both ornamental and cultural purposes. She said: “I feel great that Nigeria has a human living treasure. I am the human living treasure. Art lives in our country. When we came to Nigeria in 1996, we were turning the trash into treasure in Osogbo but nobody was buying it.
So, we moved to the Capital to see if the patronage will improve. When we got here, any President or minister that comes, we invite them to the gallery and during the time of Nasir El-Rufai, we brought him to the gallery to see what we were doing.
“He was quite interested in what we were doing with all the trash cans. He immediately brought his children to see it. We use those trash cans to make paintings. Turning waste into wealth, turning trash into treasure. I am pleading with the new government to support the artists.
“Art is a very integral part of society. The more they showcase our art, the more we attract foreign investors. Again, the government should pay close attention to the potential of upcycling and recycling waste; that will create employment for the youth. These upcycled art pieces serve both ornamental and cultural purposes like the beads traditional rulers wear.”
The event was an artistic blend of art and fashion. Models adorned in intricately sewn Adire pieces lit the hearts of the audience
Islam MD Tazul spoke about his experience at the workshop. He said: “It is very attractive and fantastic to see that these beautiful art pieces were made from recycled materials. These pieces tell a lot about the cultural history of Nigeria. Bangladesh has a key interest in involving in Nigerian art. Though this is my first visit, I will take all I have learnt today to Bangladesh and think of some sort of collaboration that can be achieved.”
The royal father of the day, King Aderemi Adedapo, lauded the initiative and also called on the government to invest hugely in it.
In his words: “It is a welcome development. It is long overdue. Nike has been touching lives from way back. This initiative will be a huge employer of labour. Government should also invest like the members of the diplomatic community present.
The CEO of Khiran Couture, Nikki Odu-khiran, whose exceptional designs were displayed and modelled said: “Mummy Nike is my cousin and we have been waiting to have something like this in Abuja for a while because they are not enough creative spaces like this in Abuja.
“The gallery houses the best of Nigerian talents. There are over 2,000 pieces of artwork displayed here. Some of these art pieces are made from trash. That is laudable.”