The MTN Foundation through its youth empowerment initiative is sponsoring the 15th edition of the Life in My City Arts Festival (LIMCAF). LIMCAF is an annual visual arts festival targeted at Nigerian youths, who submit their artwork for review by a panel of judges, after which shortlisted entries will participate in regional and national competitions. Following the call for entry and submissions received, regional exhibitions are currently being held across the country, in eight states including Benin, Abuja, Ondo, Ibadan, Lagos, Uyo, Enugu and Port-Harcourt, between July 22 and September 23, 2022.
The yearly competitive visual arts event was created to encourage and empower young Nigerian artists under the age of 35. According to a 2021 report published by Jobberman, the Nigerian arts and creative industry is positioned as the country’s second-largest employer and has the potential to produce 2.7million jobs by 2025. Additionally, it is set to contribute N5 trillion to the country’s GDP.
Speaking at the exhibition in Lagos, Executive Director, LIMCAF, Mr Kevin Ejiofor, said the festival would help make young artists proud to be called artists and also help them make a living from their creativity. “Art is a way of life and everybody appreciates it, if not, how do you choose the colour of your clothes or the style of your hair? It’s just that not everyone knows how to manifest it. Art is not just the hanging on the wall, that hanging on the wall is an interpretation of the life the artist lives by bringing it closer to make meaning out of it.”
“This year, we had over 200 entries, and we are grateful to all our sponsors for making this year’s competition a reality, especially the MTN Foundation, who is our major sponsor this year,” he said.
Also giving his address at the exhibition, Director, MTN Foundation, Dennis Okoro, said that MTN Foundation is always committed to promoting young talents through various initiatives, one of which is the art festival. He went on to encourage the artist present saying, “You are creative and you not winning this competition doesn’t reduce your creativity.”
He further encouraged the artists to be courageous and never feel intimidated by other professions. “Whenever you come to the realm of art, know that you are the best creative talent nature can have. Never feel inferior to any profession,” he said.
The MTN Foundation continues to invest in and empower Nigerian youths in the arts and creative industry through various programmes like; the MTN – MUSON diploma scholarship, sponsorship of theatre productions, Beeta playwright competition and the ongoing Life In My City Arts Festival (LIMCAF)