WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION?

What is Cultural Appropriation? In 2017 I wrote an article on bit.ly/lariscafe titled “Nigeria’s Cultural Evolution” and I mentioned Cultural Appropriation as the 3rd stage of our evolution. A stage that led to Cultural Appreciation by Nigerians and Black people in general. The post showed the fact that although Cultural Appropriation seems like a very negative thing, it can lead to some good. In this article I would be shedding light on the Pros and Cons of Cultural Appropriation. You are probably wondering how it can have any “pros” well it would help to read my old post or you could just stick to this article since I’m going to mention the Pros anyway.

What is Cultural Appropriation?
Firstly, Culture is ‘a way of life belonging to a group of people associated by geography, religion, race, ideals and other factors’.
Appropriation, on the other hand, is the act of using or taking possession of something, without permission or consent.
So we can say that Cultural Appropriation is the act of using or taking possession of a way of life belonging to a group of people without permission or consent.
Cultural Appropriation can be perpetrated in two ways. Firstly it is the adoption of elements of a foreign culture without giving credit to that culture; and Secondly it is the adoption of elements of a foreign culture and using it out of context or in a way that diminishes its meaning without the consent of the people.

 

IS CULTURAL APPROPRIATION AN IMMORAL ACT?
Morality is a very subjective concept. The standard of morality varies across different societies in different geographical locations and personal demographics like religious beliefs. In some cultures a man’s hair should be grown while in others it should be cut off for both Spiritual and Social reasons. It is as simple as that. Every tiny aspect of our lives is governed by certain laws created by us or someone before us, these laws are the foundation of our morality. However, there are universal standards of morality which is why no matter how culturally diverse the world is, there are certain laws that are common to all. These laws do not necessarily have the same punishments or deterrents but they are all agreed to be moral. Examples of such are Laws against Lying and Stealing.
From the definition of Cultural Appropriation we can see that there are elements of lying and stealing in them. Lying in the sense of “not giving credit” (or acknowledging) the creators of the work or tradition and Stealing in the sense of “Using another person’s work without permission”.
So is Cultural Appropriation an immoral act? Yes it is!

 

WHAT IF THE OWNER’S OF THE CULTURE ARE LETTING IT WASTE AWAY?
Well the fact that I refuse to drive my car gives you no right to steal it. The same logic applies to cultural appropriation. The fact that members of a community are not commercializing their collective intellectual property does not give an outsider any right to use it without permission or credit.
Did you see what I did right there? I put in a caveat. This means firstly that an outsider can use it if (s)he gets permission and gives due credit. Secondly, it seems that these rules do not apply to an “insider”. For real if you think about it, is it Cultural Appropriation if you are a member of the community?
Well I can only answer that after I look at the rules themselves.

 

IS CULTURAL APPROPRIATION A LEGAL OFFENCE IN NIGERIA?
The Nigerian Copyright Act provides that:
32. “A person who, without the consent of the Nigeria Copyright Council, uses an expression of folklore in a manner not permitted by this Act shall be in breach of statutory duty and be liable to the council in damages, injunctions and any other remedies as the court may deem fit to award in the circumstances.”

It also says:
31. (1) Expressions of folklore are protected against-
(a) reproduction;
(b) communication to the public by performance, broadcasting, distribution by cable or other means;
(c) adaptation, translation and other transformations,when such expressions are made either for commercial purposes or outside their traditional or customary context.

(2) The right conferred in subsection (1) of this section shall not include the right to control-
(a) the doing of any of the acts by way of fair dealing for private and domestic use, subject to the condition that, if the use is public, it shall be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the title of the work and its sources;
(b) the utilisation for purposes of education;
(c) utilisation by way of illustration in an original work of the author: provided that the extent of such utilisation is compatible with fair practice;
(d) the borrowing of expressions of folklore for creating an original work of the author:
(e) the incidental utilisation expressions of folklore.

(3) In all printed publications, and in connection with any communications to the public, of any identifiable expression of folklore, its source shall be indicated in an appropriate manner, and in conformity with fair practice, by mentioning the community or place from where the expression utilised has been derived.

(4) The rights to authorise acts referred to in subsection (1) of this section shall vest in the Nigeria Copyright Council.

(5) For the purposes of this section, “folklore” means a group-oriented and tradition-based creation of groups or individuals reflecting the expectation of the community as an inadequate expression of its cultural and social identity, its standards and values as transmitted orally, by imitation or by other means including-
(a) folklore, folk poetry, and folk riddles;
(b) folk songs and instrumental folk music;
(c) folk dances and folk plays;
(d) productions of folk art in particular, drawings, paintings, carvings, sculptures, pottery, terracotta, mosaic, woodwork, metalwork, handicrafts, costumes, indigenous textiles.”

So, is Cultural Appropriation a Legal Wrong? Yes it is! Section 33 provides for the offence and it’s punishment. However can it be committed by an “insider”? Since the Act does not specify then it is safe to say that legally the rules apply to everybody, Insiders and Outsiders. Also, and most importantly, the consent is not gotten from the community but from the Nigerian Copyright Council. That definitely applies to everyone. My opinion, I think this part should be scrapped out of the Act, but I agree that everyone should be subject to the process of getting consent, just not from the Council but the Community itself.
The above quoted sections seem to only protect Folklore. What’s that? Copyright Act already defined it, go back to Subsection (5) as quoted above. However, it seems to only relate to Literature and Art so here are other aspects of Culture and Tradition that can also be protected by law; Clothing, Architecture, Marks and Tattoos, Recipes, Hair Styles etc. Some of these are protected by other Intellectual Property Laws in Nigeria like the Patent and Design Act and the Trademark Act. They can be registered as collective works, however the scope of collective ownership of Intellectual Property in Nigeria has not been really developed so ‘fingers crossed’ maybe the 2015 Copyright Bill will take care of it.
So, the rule says:
If it’s Folklore, get the Nigerian Copyright Council’s consent and give the community due credit in conformity with fair practice. If it qualifies as a Trademark or Industrial design then a collective license (permission) should be acquired from that community.

Down to the main issue,

WHAT AR E THE PROS AND CONS OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION?
The Popular African History features the coming of Europeans as a major event and it was mostly about how they came and “stole” our Natural Resources from us. May I, my Lord? May I approach the bench?
Thank you my Lord!
May I dare say that we had no idea what those “natural resources” were, not to talk of
they could be used for. We only discovered their value after the foreigners came. And unfortunately for us, when the foreigners came, they took a lot of it. It’s the same for our intellectual property.
If we don’t use it they would come and pick it all up and make us thank them for it. That’s why any exploitation of our cultures in their business or Media world is usually described as “Putting the Limelight on Africa” Wakanda Forever! Or like the African Americans sometimes say “We’re taking it back to the roots, going to the motherland” LMAO!!!
Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, who knows, when we see them place so much value on these things we suddenly start using them. I guess the “PRO” of cultural appropriation, especially the publicized ones, is that it sends a loud wake-up call around the continent that “Hey! What we have is worth stealing, we might as well use it!”
So yeah that’s the only Pro I can think of and the Cons are “it is Morally and Legally Wrong”.
Now I guess the topic of this article should be “The Pro and Cons of Cultural Appropriation”.
I hope you liked it! If you did, head on to bit.ly/lariscafe to read more of my work and follow me on social media @tj_gaps. I have a podcast too, the link to it is on the bio of my social media accounts (By “accounts” I mean Instagram and Twitter). I am also an Entertainment Lawyer based in Abuja.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is only educative, it is not legal or professional advice, for that you should talk to your Lawyer. Cheers!

20200226_161353_0000.png

EP02: IS A VIDEO VIXEN AN AUTHOR?

A video vixen is commonly described as a female model who appears in music videos wearing scanty clothing. They are sometimes called Eye Candy.
Eye Candies are not always female. With the growing popularity of Female Artistes, especially in Hip-hop, there are now many Male Eye Candies in the Industry. Male Eye Candies dont have a specific popular name so for the sake of this article I’ll refer to them as Foxes, the male version of Vixens.
To understand Video Vixens and Foxes let’s start with this fictional Story;

Once upon a Time in a Land not so far away, there lived a pretty teenage boy called Kanari. At 18 he had featured in many church dramas, school pageantries and dance competitions. One day he got a call from a famous video director’s assistant offering him a role in a music video. He was supposed to act as a stunt double for a renown ‘A’ actor. His job was to shoot some explicit dance scenes. After the video shoot a dispute arose between the Actor and the Artiste which led to a press release where the actor dissociated himself from the Artiste. The news was all over social media, so Kanari called the Video Director but was assured that another actor would be cast to replace the first one. However, months later the video got released, no replacement was casted and Kanari’s face was everywhere. He felt cheated and called the Video Director and demanded for extra pay but the director turned him down.

Now he has reached out to a lawyer.

Video Vixens/Foxes are a major part of the Music Industry in Nigeria and many other parts of the world. They feature in videos (obviously, they are called VIDEO Vixens/Foxes) and are a part of the creative process of passing the message of the song to its audience but, they are not usually regarded as creative people.
Calling them authors seems like quite a stretch but Nigerian Law tells us “They CAN be Authors”. Now this doesn’t mean they are free to be writers, rather it means they can be Creators of Intellectual Property.

To understand the kind of Intellectual Property they create we would have to explore what they actually do in Music Videos. Some of them dance, some act and some just pose, sorry model. They can do one, two or all three, depending on the Direction of the video (subject to agreement). When they act they possess a Performer’s Right which is a Neighbouring Intellectual Property Right to the popular Copyright, and when they dance they could curate a unique composition of movements or patterned succession of gestures which is recognized as Choreographic Work under the Copyright Act.
A Choreographic Work is a sub-category of Literary works, the creators of which are recognized as Authors by Section 51 of the Act. So yeah, a Video Vixen/Fox can be an author if (s)he creates a Choreographic Work.

RIGHTS OF A VIDEO VIXEN/FOX

  1. Right to Dignity of Human Persons
  2. Image Right
  3. Right to Choreographic Work
  4. Right to claim Authorship

RIGHT TO DIGNITY OF HUMAN PERSONS

The Nigerian Constitution provides fundamental human rights from Section 33 to Section 43 for all its Citizens; Section 43 would however be my focus as it protects the human dignity.
There are cases where Vixens are pimped out and forced to prostitute themselves in exchange for Video gigs or subjected to inhumane treatments which they agree to because of the false impression that they have no choice. Even in cases where Video Directors have signed contracts with the Vixens, or most likely; carried out PART PERFORMANCE (especially for Oral contracts) through accomodation and transportation to shooting locations, the Vixen still has the legal right to refuse to do or allow anything to be done to or with her that injures her dignity (physical or emotional abuse).

Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person and accordingly –
a) No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhumane or DEGRADING TREATMENT
b) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude; and
c) No person shall be required to perform FORCED OR COMPULSORY LABOUR.

– Section 34 (1) 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigerian as amended.

NB: The Penal Code and Criminal Code also have similar provisions with complementary penalties.

So, even upon signing an agreement or carrying out Part Performance of Oral Agreements, a Vixen/Fox still has a right to sue for any unauthorized contact with her/his body before, during and after the shoot. Any trespass to her body could be actionable as Assault or Battery depending on the circumstances.

IMAGE RIGHT

There are some cases where a Vixen agrees to perform explicitly in a Video on the condition that her face doesn’t show due to some brand or personal reasons. Any publishing of her face in such a case would be a violation of contract- Oral, Written or Implied- and an infringement on her Constitutional Privacy Rights.
Image rights are not well developed and protected under Nigerian Law so recourse is often made to Breach of Contract and Infringement of Privacy Rights.

The privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.

– Section 37 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigerian as amended.

RIGHT TO CHOREOGRAPHIC WORKS

The Nigerian Copyright Act defines Choreographic Work as “a Composition of movements for dancing or any other patterned succession of gestures mostly created to accompanying music”. As a sub-category of Literary work, the author of Choreographic works or better still a Choreographer has all the Intellectual Property Rights given to Literary Works and also all the Neighbouring Rights given to Performers. Pretty cool yeah?
Well the problem with Choreography or Dance is that it relies on other Intellectual Properties to be created. Of course there are exceptions but those are rare. The entanglement of Dance with Musical Works give rise to certain questions;

  1. Does a Dancer owe Royalties to the owners of the song she choreographed to?
  2. Part of the performance rights a Dancer has is the exclusive control of recording and live broadcasts; What if the recording or broadcast is done by the Song Owner?
  3. What if the Dancer, like Kanari in our story, was hired to perform for a music video, who owns the rights to the recording and broadcast of the Choreographic Work then?
  4. Is it okay for a Dancer to perform an expression of Folklore; especially for commercial purposes.

These questions aren’t limited to just Video Vixens, they relate to all dancers.

When describing the right of an Author of a musical work, the Copyright Act did not expressly say dancing to music for commercial gain is infringement on the music, but it forbids unauthorized performance of the work in public, unauthorized distribution for commercial purposes and production, performance and publishing of any translation of the work. So I’ve deduced that a dance performance to music in public or for commercial distribution without authorization from the author(s) of the musical work is infringement and dancers will owe royalties.
Now most musical authors are not aware that this is infringement; most still don’t know that broadcasting their work in public (Radio, TV or Loudspeaker) without authorization is infringement, so it is expected that an average person will find it odd for an artiste to sue a Dancer. The artistes that are aware of this are too flattered to care; they enjoy the popularity it brings them which gives them fans, fans mean shows and shows mean MONEY.

In the event where the Song Owner records and broadcasts the dancer’s performance without authorization there’ll be a tangle of rights. In one scenario, if the Dancer performs to the music without authorization, she cannot turn around to sue the song owner for infringing on her performing rights, because, He who seeks equity must do Equity and He who comes to Equity must come with Clean Hands.
However, where the Dancer performs to the song with full authorization, but the song owner records and broadcasts without the dancer’s authorizations the Dancer can sue for infringement.

In a Commissioned Work or Work for Hire, most people argue that the person who hires (or Commissioner lol) should own the work, especially since in most cases either the Dancer executes the Hirer’s ideas or works according to his preferences. Some other people argue that the person who hires merely leases the work from the author, and the use should be limited.
However, Nigerian Law strikes a balance. The Copyright Act provides that;

…where a work is commissioned by a person who is not the author’s employer under a contract of service or apprenticeship the Copyright shall belong in the first instance to the author, unless otherwise stipulated in writing under the contract.
AND
…persons shall be deemed to be co-owners if they share a joint interest in the whole or any part of a copyright; or if they have interest in the various copyrights in a composite production, that is to say, a production consisting of two or more works.

In many cases of Unauthorized Intelletual Property Exploitation, most infringers usually claim they are giving the Intellectual Property Owners free exposure so they ought not to pay any royalties. This is very rampant with unauthorized Folklore Expressions. One common phrase for this is “Cultural Appropriation”.
Cultural Appropriation is the adoption of elements of a culture for commercial purposes without giving due credit to the originators of the culture and using it out of context or in a way that diminishes its meaning.
In answer to the question “Can a Dancer perform an expression of Folklore for Commercial Purposes?” the Nigerian Copyright Act states that; “Expressions of Folklore are protected against performance when such expression is made either for commercial purposes or outside their traditional or customary context”, but it also provides exceptions to the rule;

  1. Fair dealing for private and domestic use, subject to the condition that, if the use is public, it shall be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the title of the work and its source.
  2. Utilisation by way of illustration in an original work of an author, provided that; the extent of such utilisation is compatible with fair practice.
  3. It’s source shall be indicated in an appreciable manners and in conformity with fair practice, by mentioning the community or place from where the expression utilised has been derived.
  4. The expression shall not be in a manner prejudicial to the honour, dignity or cultural interests of the community in which it originates.

So as long as a Dancer properly acknowledges the source in a manner conforming with fair practice without hurting the dignity or cultural interests of the community, she can perform an expression of Folklore without authorization from the Nigerian Copyright Commission.
But Wait!!! This answer begs another question; What is Fair Practice? (Or Fair Dealing or Fair Use).
Nigerian Copyright Law, although it provides Fair Practice as a defence to the infringement of Folklore does not define what it is; leaving it to individual judicial interpretation.
In the popular 1972 case of Hubbard v. Vosper Lord Denning writing the leading judgment for the court said;

“It is impossible to define what is “fair dealing”. It must be a question of degree… next you must consider the proportions… But after all is said and done, it must be a matter of impression. As with fair comment in the law of Libel, so with fair dealing in the law of Copyright. The tribunal of fact must decide.”

RIGHT TO CLAIM AUTHORSHIP

I have already established earlier in this article that when Video Vixens or Foxes create original Choreographic Works they are authors of Literary Works. The Copyright Act further establishes their right to claim authorship in Section 12 which provides;

  1. The author of a Work in which Copyright subsist has the right- (a) To claim authorship of his work, in particular that his authorship be indicated in connection with any of the acts referred to in Section 6 of this Act except when the work is included accidentally when reporting current events by means of broadcasting. (b) To object and to seek relief in connection with any distortion, mutilation or other modification of any other derogatory action in relation to his work, where such action would be or is prejudicial to his honour or reputation
  2. The rights referred to in subsection (1) of this section are perpetual, inalienable and imprescriptible.
  3. For the purpose of this section “author” includes his heirs and successors in title.

The personal (Fundamental) and Intellectual Property Rights of a Video Vixen or Fox are all enforceable in Nigerian Courts. Only the Federal High Court has original jurisdiction to try Intellectual Property matters subject to appeal to higher courts, but Fundamental Rights can be tried at both High Courts and the Federal High Court.

In Kanari’s story, he can sue for the infringement of his Privacy and Image Rights and breach of Implied Contract. However, although he can claim authorship and first ownership of the choreographic work, for a Work for Hire he cannot claim royalties; as an Author he is entitled to a remuneration which he got from the Video director.

In an ideal scenario he should have signed a Simple Contract with the Director expressly stating that he would offer Stunt Double Services for a specific fee. That way it would be easier to prove a breach of contract.

Thank you for reading the Long Answer! You can get the short answer on;

Streaming Platforms
1. Audiomack: https://t.co/I7OaFVAsTY

Subtitled Version

  1. YouTube: https://youtu.be/PLaIWs60eLg

Cheers!

Temlari Jane

@tj_gaps

DISCLAIMER

The content of this article is for general informational purposes only and shall neither constitute legal advice nor an agreement for legal services. Under no circumstances does the content of this article establish or create, directly or indirectly, an attorney-client relationship between you and the writer.

20200214_001150_0000.png

WHO NEEDS AN ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER?

In a time where many people are hustling to make money off the Entertainment Industry a lot of titles get thrown around; one of the latest is “Entertainment Lawyer”.

Who needs them? Like really, what’s their use?

The Black’s Law Dictionary defines Entertainment Law (Yep! Its a real thing) as the field of law dealing with the legal and business issues in the Entertainment Industry (such as film, music and theatre) and involving the representation of artistes and producers, the negotiation of contracts and the protection of intellectual-property rights. (This definition is from 1953 so have it at the back of your mind that some things have changed, well more like ‘been added’ since then.)

Contrary to Public Opinion Entertainment Lawyers aren’t just Intellectual Property Lawyers. Every Entertainment Lawyer must be an IP expert but not every IP expert is an Entertainment Lawyer.

Did you see what I did there? If you didn’t, go back and read again.

Intellectual Property is only a small fraction of Entertainment Law. Entertainment law is a broad area of law that requires a working knowledge of Project Management, Project Financing, Contract Law, Commercial Law, Tort Law, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Corporate Law, ADR, Taxation Law, Insurance Law and Intellectual Property Law amongst others.

However, Intellectual Property isn’t only a part of Entertainment Law; it is actually an independent field of law on its own. Stay with me, Intellectual Property Law isn’t just limited to the popular Entertainment-Specific right; Copyright. It also serves other areas like the internet, science, technology, medicine and even food production. So Intellectual Property Law isn’t just for Entertainment, neither is Entertainment Law only about Intellectual property.

Here’s an example;

Veren designs and builds a Music Box that detects moods and plays music accordingly. Her brother writes all the songs, her sister produces the beats and engineers the sound, then her close friends record their different voices per song.

She markets it and gains a lot of popularity among Vets, Pychiatrists and Psychologists and theres immediate demand.

So what does she do?

1.) She signs a Split sheet with all the contributors.

2.) She registers it as an industrial design under the Patent and Design Act.

3.) She registers the Songs under the Nigerian Copyright Act listing the writer, producer and performers.

4.) She registers the name of the Music Box under the Nigerian Trade mark Act.

5.) She gets investments.

6.) She registers a private company.

7.) She rents a workshop and hires people to help produce different designs of the music box.

8.) She buys insurance for the worshop and the products.

Veren has multiple intellectual properties belonging to different people which she could commercialize in different ways. She could sell all the rights to a pharmaceutical company and split the payment amongst all the contributors, or she could get VC funding or license the production to the Pharmaceutical company, license the music to a video game company, an advertising agency or even a TV show as their sound-track. Her options are limitless.

In this scenario, she is dealing with Intellectual Property both within and outside the Entertainment Industry. She is also dealing with law within and outside intellectual property.

Next, who do Entertainment Lawyers work for? (I’m tempted to write Me and You, haha, but that’s not necessarily true, their Clientele is pretty much limited to a specific group of people.) The short answer is; Entertainment Lawyers work for people connected to the Entertainment Industry. Who are these people? (Calm down, I’m about to tell you.)

In the Music Corner of the Industry the clientele list include; Singers, Song Writers, Producers, Record Labels, Publishing Companies, Collecting Societies, Talent Management Agencies, PR firms, Event Organizers, Media Houses, Clubs, Dancers, Video Directors etc.

In Motion Picture they include; Actors, Stunt-men, Script-Writers, Directors, Producers, Distribution Companies, Graphic Designers, Animators, Union Groups, Set designers, Make-up artists, Stylists – You Know What? They basically work for the Cast and Crew and every other person who works with them from the time the movie idea is concieved to its execution and distribution. Whew!!! We’re not done yet.

In the Games corner, the lawyers work for Graphic Artists, Coders, Manufacturers, Voice-Over Artists, Stunt-men, Distributors etc.

In Comedy, Arts and Literature, they work for Comics, Artists(Visual and Applied), Writers, Poets, Curators, Publishers, Galleries, Art dealers, Event Organizers, PR Companies, Distributors etc.

Wow! That’s a lot of people. But still “Not Everyone” “Not You and Me lol” just the Industry.

Now to the Million Naira Question *drum rolls*; What do Entertainment Lawyers Actually Do?

Entertainment Lawyers primarily work to prevent disputes and increase profits for their Clients. They help build, secure and defend Brands and Businesses through Registrations, Project management, Brokering deals and Representation at meetings and disputes.

Their work is NOT TO FIGHT but to AVOID FIGHTS, but where necessary they’ll FIGHT VICIOUSLY.

You can get the short answer on;

Streaming Platforms
1. Audiomack: https://audiomack.com/song/blackboyrecords/tsaep1aud-1
2.Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/blackboyrecords/tsaep1aud

Audio Download
1. https://my.notjustok.com/track/embed/id/432514″

Subtitled Version
1. YouTube: https://youtu.be/TSgEoAfqXGI

Cheers!

Temlari Jane

@tj_gaps

DISCLAIMER

The content of this article is for general informational purposes only and shall neither constitute legal advice nor an agreement for legal services. Under no circumstances does the content of this article establish or create, directly or indirectly, an attorney-client relationship between you and the writer.

OWONTE SAMUEL: TOE ARTS (COMIC ILLUSTRATOR)

This post is a ghen ghen something. So comics are my guilty pleasure and I had the honour of interviewing one of Nigeria’s best Comic Illustrators. Chaii my 2019 has been made! Without too much talk I present OWONTE SAMUEL of Toe Arts. Read on, his work will SCREAM for itself. Yeah he’s that good!!!

Owonte Samuel, the animator and writer of Toe Arts Comic Strips is a native of Rivers State born in 1996.

He grew up in the cities of Jos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja and is currently based in Lagos State. He attended Redeemed Peoples Academy in Jos, a Naval School in Port Harcourt, British Nigerian Academy in Abuja and Babcock University in Ogun State where he studied Public Administration.
Growing up Sam changed his career aspirations so many times. He wanted to be a Police Man, a Traffic Warden, a Mechanic, and at a point an engineer, but that all changed when he reached adulthood; He realized that he was best suited as a business Man. In primary and secondary school his fascination with art affected his academics negatively but fortunately (or unfortunately, well it turned out well so lets stick with fortunately) by the time he got into the university he dropped art completely and faced his education. Now that he’s a graduate, he has picked it back up along with other businesses he also runs.

TOE ARTS

The name Toe arts was chosen because…

Sam loves the creative arts, he watches cartoons and movie series and appreciates the writers behind it. He picked up an interest in art as a young child but never got any formal training.

He intends to give art illustration trainings on social media so turn on post notifications for his handle @toe_arts. He also has messaging stickers available on imessage and whatsapp. Send him a dm to get them.

Sam opted for Comic art because other forms of art looked too serious but eventually he got sucked in and fell in love with comics without minding all the work needed to put into it.

Toe Arts was created in March 2019, Samuel’s goal is to make cartoons that would make the whole world CRAZY. He intends to illustrate for motion pictures soon, so Watch Out Nollywood!!! His work is really wonderful considering the short time since @toe_arts was born so if you’re tempted to repost his work GO AHEAD but dont forget to GIVE HIM CREDIT! Once again the handle is @toe_arts on Instagram and Twitter.

Samuel is currently a free-lance illustrator, he mostly gets his clients from social media @toe_arts. For his original works he gets inspiration from his feelings, experiences and trends.

CHALLENGES

Art Appreciation: Nigerians generally don’t believe aesthetic art has any real fiscal value so Samuel presents his art as a form of entertainment by telling short stories in his comic strips.

To reach out to Sam for partnerships, brand sponsorship and other enquiries send a dm on:

Instagram: @toe_arts

Twitter: @toe_arts

OFFIONG EDET OKON: MOON VISUAL STUDIOS (ART FABRICATOR)

The Nigerian Creative Industries are Overwhelmingly vast! In Lari’s CAFE’s quest to explore the industries we stumbled on a Fabricator, pretty strange yeah? Well here’s the Great Part, a Fabricator is like the Coolest Artist you could ever meet!!! On this note allow me introduce to you “Offiong Edet Okon the Fabricator”!!! *drum rolls*

Offiong Edet Okon an Efik man is a native of Okoyong Usang Abasi, Odukpani LGA, Cross River State. He was born on the 4th of June 1992, in Calabar south, Cross River state. He grew up in Diamond Hill Calabar.

EDUCATION
He attended Hope Waddle Nursery & Primary School from 1993 to 2001 then for Secondary school he attended West African People’s institute from 2002 to 2009. In 2011 he got admission into Cross River university of technology and graduated in 2016 with a major in Sculpting and a Degree in Visual Arts.

ART
From nursery school Okon picked up an interest in art and that interest grew up with him until it became a professional skill. Growing up he aspired to be either an architect or a fine artist. His ambition never really changed as he ended up studying Visual Arts in the university and eventually became an Artist. Okon’s ultimate goal is to change the narrative of arts in Africa hence his deviation from Conventional Art.

“Well I am a sculptor by profession but I don’t enjoy creating art without adding functionality to it and I just don’t like the conventional style of art.” – Offiong Edet Okon.

Okon is a professional fabricator (a fabricator is one who constructs something as a piece of machinery from raw materials). He makes unique pieces of Art out of odd materials mostly scrap junk; either metal or wood; whatever he can imagine and lay his hands on. He once turned an old steering wheel and car door into a coffee table.

He unique signature lies in the fact that all his artwork possess a realistic functionality, they are not just aesthetic pieces meant to appeal to the senses of perceptive people; his art is appreciated by all, not only art lovers. His works fit in well in office spaces and are often used as props in motion pictures and music videos.

The piece of leather and Slippers worn by Brymo in his controversial music video “Heya” was made by Moon Visual Studios.

INSPIRATION

“I get my inspiration from God which He puts in my thoughts or the things I see around me.”– Offiong Edet Okon

MOON VISUAL STUDIOS
Moon Visual Studios was born in 2014 when it was registered at the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission. Moon Visual Studios was founded and is owned by Offiong Edet Okon. He runs the studio with the help of a team.

Despite the risks involved in building a Business, not to talk of an “Art business”, Okon didn’t take the safe route by working for another artist, this is his reason;

“I won’t have the freedom to explore my creativity so I didn’t see a need to and I haven’t found art expressed in such way like mine.” – Offiong Edet Okon

Okon hasn’t released any of his Original works yet because they are quite elaborate and expensive so for details on their release turn on Post Notifications on Instagram @moonvisualstudios and @moon_okon. Most of his clients come through instagram or referrals so feel free to DM him for commissioned works.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The life of an entrepreneur can be daunting and working under the Nigerian economy makes it worse however, Okon has been able to hustle through all that to get to the frontline of his industry, Arts and Craft. He is a public speaker; an advocate for the development of his industry. He is also a source of inspiration and role model to many artists in Nigeria.

CHALLENGES
1.) Space: This is a major Challenge because it limits Okon’s creativity. He intends to acquire a bigger work space as the business brings in more revenue.

2.) Funds: Okon relies on payments from Commissioned works to create Original works, pay his team and maintain the business. To tackle this challenge he has created a Proposal he intends to present to prospective investors for funding.

SOCIAL MEDIA
For inquiries or more information you can reach out to Okon on;
Instagram: @moonvisualstudios and @moon_okon
Twitter: @moon_okon

CHIDERA STEPHEN (CREATIVE WRITER AND LIFESTYLE YOUTUBER)

In a world of the internet and social media where everyone has quick access to “bad news”. It’s refreshing to sit back and relax while someone discusses those same issues without all the accompanying depression. Let the drums ROLL as Lari’s CAFE welcomes our very own Youtuber Chidera Stephen!!!

Chidera was born in Umudike Ukpor, Anambra State in 1996, she’s an Igbo lady, a native of Nnewi south, Anambra State. However, she grew up in the metropolitan cities of Lagos and Accra (Ghana).

EDUCATION
Chidera started schooling in the 90s at Carol standard convent, Ichi up till 2006 when she graduated to Fidel madonna College. From 2008 to 2010 she attended Millbank secondary school, Ojo and Apostle Safo School of Arts and Sciences, Accra from 2010 to 2012. Then in 2013 she attended the University of Cape Coast, Ghana where she bagged a Bachelors Degree in Communication studies.

AMBITION
Growing up Chidera wanted to be a Lawyer but she got discouraged by the flawed Nigerian Legal System. Later on, she opted for Arts Director but she couldn’t find a suitable school at the time she was ready for undergraduate study so she put it on hold. But watch out! Turn on post notifications on her social media @stolid_p, any day now she could be announcing her position as an Art Director somewhere close to you!

CAREER
Currently Chidera is a Creative Writer and Lifestyle Youtuber, she’s also available for Hosting and Anchoring Gigs. Chidera started vlogging (youtube) in 2018 and she’s been on a roll since then. Unlike most Lifestyle vloggers, Chidera does not limit her content to Beauty, Fashion and good food. She explores a large variety of topics including Abortion, Suicide, Reality TV shows, Job hunting, Travel, Language, Cultural Standards, Politics etc.

Her creativity in delivering content informs, educates and at the same time entertains her audience. With hardly any PR she has been able to build a loyal followership in under a year all kudos to her talent.
Chidera’s inspiration for content on her YouTube Channel mostly come from a sense of “usefulness” not “art”.

I try to make my posts useful. Mostly what can contribute to an individual, a recommendation, tips or a place to visit” – Chidera Stephen

CHALLENGES
1.) Professional Filming: Chidera has had no formal training in Filming and Video editing, everything she does is as a result of personal learning, she’s “Self-taught”. She records all posts on her cell-phone. This can be tricky especially with no lighting and other Camera equipment to develop the quality of the images and sound.

2.) Video features: Chidera is in need of people to vlog with, people she can discuss issues with.

So if you are ready to grab this opportunity to work closely with her or if you have inquiries or just want to follow up on her work visit her social media:

YouTube Channel: Chidera Stephen
Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter: @stolid_p

TIMILEHIN ABAYOMI-SADIKU ESQ. – TRESS CARE (HAIR CARE CONSULTANT)

At the forefront of the Self-Awareness stirring the Continent of Africa are beauty experts, today Lari’s CAFE would be profiling a Natural Hair Consultant, her name; Timi!

Timi was born in Lagos on the 24th of January 1996, she has lived in Lagos all her life. She is actually a native of Lagos, Epe Local Government Area. She’s a Yoruba girl.

EDUCATION
Timi attended Eduland Children’s school in Egbeda from 2000 to 2001, and then from 2001 to 2005 she continued her basic school education at Future kids in Ikeja. For her Secondary school she attended Pythagoras college from 2005 to 2008, then Redeemers’ International Secondary School from 2008 to 2011.
She got her A level degree from Cambridge College Ikeja, got her LL.B. degree in Law from Afe Babalola University and then got called to the Nigerian Bar in November 2018.

CAREER
As a Child Timi wanted to become a Surgeon but then she could never handle injections. She always had to be held down to get an injection so she gave up on that dream pretty quickly. Choosing to become a lawyer was a bit inevitable because her dad is a Lawyer and she got convinced that her aggresively analytical, opinionated, fact-driven and overly logical personality was best suited for a Lawyer.

NATURAL AFRICAN HAIR
Natural African Hair AKA Afro Kinky is now a Huge Trend across the world. It’s a movement promoting African Self-love. The prevailing mentality being promoted is this; “Everything that alters the look of your natural hair is Bad“. This is a bit extremist because it has led to shaming of relaxed hair, straight weaves and hair attachments. As an African Hair Consultant Timi goes against the grain to say that; “African Hair has the potential to be so many things, it could remain kinky, it could be relaxed, it could be anything. What’s important is not the style but the health”.
She has her own belief; “Everything that hurts the health of your natural hair is bad“. It is based on this that Tress Care Hair Consultancy was conceived.

TRESS CARE
Timi always loved Hair, she loved the process of caring and nurturing it. It excited her to explore the potential of African hair without extensions.

Well, it happened to be hair care I was fascinated by. The fact that the gospel of healthy hair was right under our noses and we have not noticed it from generation to generation is fascinating. The liberation a simple piece of information could give, watching people struggle to adjust to something that seems so little.– Timi

Tress Care was born in August 2017 after her father encouraged her to monetize her love for hair. He pushed her to give her skills monetary value. It was immediately registered as a business name with the Nigerian Corporate Affairs Commission. Tress Care is a Sole proprietorship with two employees on a payroll and a few more part-time volunteers. Timi hopes to build Tress Care into an entity capable of running without her daily “hands-on” involvement. She intends to do her Masters in Intellectual Property Law; her other passion which she”ll be more involved in.

She developed a skill in understanding the nature of African hair by delving into Biology. It was a fascinating escape from the legal world into the world of Science. Months and years of part-time study through reading, watching videos, comparing works, personal experiments and General research eventually gave birth to her Hair Consultancy business.

She is currently working on obtaining a professional certification in African Hair Care.

Tress Care offers three packages to clients;
1.) Online Classes
2.) Monthly Personalized Consultation
3.) Microscopic Strand Analysis.

The first and second package are offered online but the third, Microscopic Strand Analysis, requires The presence of The client.

BALANCING LAW AND BUSINESS
Timi works as a legal practitioner on weekdays (Mondays to Fridays 9-5) and works at Tress Care in the evenings and on the weekends. Sometimes she gets really busy with Legal work that she is forced to take long breaks from Tress Care. However, thanks to her team at Tress Care, the business is set up to thrive during her short absences.

CHALLENGES
Public perception: Most people don’t understand the fuss around hair care; they’re adamant that beautiful hair is purely genes and so they don’t value Hair Consultancy services. In response to this flawed perception Timi has learnt to be subtle and not shove information down people’s throat. She understands that expecting someone to believe and have a complete shift in what they grew up believing, is a lot to ask of anybody, so she is focused on working and proving her worth with results.
She started off by giving free consultations, then moved on to charging peanuts, and now she charges more. The more value people receive from her the more they are willing to pay so with every passing day she gains loyal customers who market her skills through testimonies and referrals.

SOCIAL MEDIA
For more details and enquiries you can reach Timi on;
Twitter: @tresscarehhc
Facebook:Tresscare Healthy Hair Consultancy
Instagram: @tresscare

GBANA NKASIKE (BEAUTY BLOGGER AND MAKE-UP ARTIST)

Being a Makeup artist is pretty common especially in Nigeria, Being a blogger is even more common, juggling all that with a Law Career isn’t so rare but being a badass in all three; now that’s Something!!!
Nkasike popularly known with her old social media handle @psycheethemua (now it’s @thesikegbana) was born on the 1st of October 1996 at the Federal Medical Centre Jalingo Taraba State. She is of the Kpanzum tribe, a sub-dialect under Jukun. Her hometown is Kumbo in Taraba State.

EDUCATION
She attended Grace Junior Academy, Jalingo for primary school from 2002 to 2006 and proceeded to Bethany Christian Academy in Barkin-Ladi from 2006 to 2010 and Funtaj International School (when it was still in Kuje) from 2011 to 2012 for High School. For uni she attended Afe Babalola University where she studied Law from 2012 to 2017. Immediately after convocation she went on to attend the Nigerian Law School, wrote the bar exams and got called to the bar in November 2018.
Nkasike was quite active in extra-curricular school activities; in primary school she was a part of the debate club, computer club and drama club. In high school, she was in a health club (ss2-ss3). In university, she was part of the Arts, Crafts and Fashion Society. She never had an official position in those clubs but always ended up leading something.

MAKEUP
Growing up, Nkasike wanted to be many things! Early on she wanted to be a doctor but she realized she hated the sight of blood so that got cancelled. Later she wanted to be a missionary pilot after watching or reading something somewhere before she finally ended up with law.

Nkasike had always been interested in beauty.

I remember admiring my aunt’s ombre lips back in the early 2000s. I also shaved off my brows in an attempt to shapen them sometime in 2008/2009; Js2 I think, I can’t remember. My mum didn’t know because I wasn’t at home when I did it. It was a funny experience. The brows just grew back over time I guess” – Nkasike Gbana

In September 2013 Nkasike attended Makeup School for 3 weeks with Pretty Ink Signature in Abuja. It was there she knew that make-up was what she was meant to do and so it only made sense to her to make it a brand.

“I am my brand lol. My brand is Sike the makeup artist. It is who I am and what I am.”
– Nkasike Gbana

She exercises artistic creativity on her clients sometimes and other times she creates conventional looks. Her work relies completely on the desire of the client. She has no signature look so for promotional purposes there is always something new she’ll create and post, either on models or herself.

She has a hashtag called #TheBibleBeauties where she creates what she imagines women in the bible must have looked like.

She has a dream to own a Creative Studio. Not a makeup studio. She is yet to release the details but has promised that it’s gonna be explosive! Turn on post notifications for her instagram @sikethemakeupartist to be updated.
She is still building her online portfolio but for now her works are on the blog and her Instagram.

BLOGGING
Nkasike is also a blogger. She has a partner she blogs with; Patsy Mokungah. The blog’s brand name was www.blushesndbrushes.com at the time it started in 2015 but in 2019 it was changed to www.ourpastiche.com.

Blushesndbrushes.com was about God, Food, Fashion, events and hair. Basically it was a diary of whatever interested she and Patsy. Right now, she lives in Abuja and Jalingo but is available to travel upon a client’s request.

BALANCING ART AND LAW
Nkasike is a Human Rights activist, she co-founded the VVFInitiative, an NGO that spreads awareness about Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF), raises funds for repair surgeries, and rehabilitates patients.

The year she learnt makeup, her grades fell substantially because she was more excited about makeup than her academics (law), but by the next year she struck a balance and started to excel in both.
Nkasike is mostly a Human Rights Lawyer during the week and an artist on the weekends.

CHALLENGES
1.) Funding: Nkasike is often faced with the fact that Makeup is not cheap, neither is a good camera and lights, so she cultivated a saving habit and works hard to earn money which she re-invests into the brand.
2.) Creative Block: When faced with this, especially for promotional posts, she does what all Christians should do, she Prays It Away.
3.) Blog Identity: In 2015 the blog was named blushesndbrushes.com and there was a similar existing blog called blushesandbrushes.com. This was a source of confusion for some readers but with time loyal readers got used to the difference in “A” . However after 4 Years and thousands of readers and subscribers, a new site and identity has been created. To keep up with them turn on post notifications for @ourpastiche on Instagram.

COLLABORATIONS
1.) November 2016: Abuad’s first beauty class with @lebeau_oge, @adaugo and @kenosi

2.)February 2017: Valentine’s day looks collab with Zuka Williams of @Maketopiaofficiel
3.) Apri/July 2017: Coachella collab with Tega Milton of @Miltons_arte
4.) August 2018: Blog giveaway sponsored by @fbcbeauty @zalluring_by_folz

@beadsbyqueen and @sara.omaniio

For Collaborations or PR work you can reach Nkasike on:
Instagram: @sikethemakeupartist
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sikethemakeup-artist
E-mail: sikegbana@gmail.com
linktr.ee/sikegbana

Alex Nwosu 3

ALEXANDER NWOSU: MODEL

We have a model in the house, you probably already know his face (first clue he is very good-looking), his name is Alexander Nwosu!

Alex Nwosu 7

Alex, a native of Nkwerre, Imo state was born on the 16th of February in Lagos. his education began at Albright nursery and primary school and from 2005 to 2011 he attended Albesta Academy where he was a hostel prefect. In 2008 he had a term at Igbinedion educational center, then in 2011 he studied Surveying and Geoinformatics at Bells University and graduated as his Department’s best in 2016.

Alex Nwosu 9

MODELLING CAREER

He started modelling in August 2016, the same year he graduated, but he officially and professionally began his career in 2018. He started modelling as something to do in his leisure time but he recently started to take it seriously. He is unsure of a career in Surveying and Geoinformatics but he is considering one in Civil Engineering.

Alex Nwosu 10

His first modelling job was at the Nigeria Students Fashion and Designer Week (NSFDW) in 2016, however, he hasn’t been part of any competitions before. He has an impressive list of companies and brands he has worked with in the span of 2 years, he has worked with Wema Bank, Kimono collection, Kola kuddus, Jzo, Resurrection, Poosh bespoke and Mai Atafo (Fashion Finest Africa at Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos). For concept shoots he worked with Sope photography, Praise that photographer, Photons photography and Iyke Ibeh etc…

Alex Nwosu 4img-20180526-wa0004.jpg

Alex Nwosu 11Alex Nwosu 5

CHALLENGES

Being replaced is the worst thing

– Alexander Nwosu

Alex was almost replaced in April when he had two modelling appointments conflicting on the same date; a photoshoot and the Runway Lagos Bridal Fashion Week. He chose the runway and got replaced at the shoot. He felt like he made the best decision although he would have preferred to take it for both appointments.

For bookings and enquiries you can reach Alex on his social media @Alex_nwosu on all platforms.

 

 

Ayowole 8

AYOWOLE ART: SCULPTING, PAINTING AND PROSTHETIC MAKEUP

This time we’re having a duo. A set of artists. These two talents are Sculptors, Painters and Prosthetic makeup artists. Their names are Ayodeji Aladejare Oluwaseun and Adeniyi Adewole Wasiu; this is their story, Enjoy!

Adewole1Screenshot_2018-05-27-18-22-26

img-20180605-wa0004.jpgIMG-20180605-WA0003

AYO OF “AYO-WOLE”: ALADEJARE AYODEJI OLUWASEUN

Ayo is a native of and was born in Efon Aalaye, June 6, 1995, Ekiti state. He attended Embrace Wisdom Nursery and Primary school then Alimosho junior and senior grammar school. As a child Ayo wanted to become a Pastor but he is studying General Art at the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech). He still intends to pursue the work of God later on when he feels it is the right time.

Aladejare

Art and Training

Ayo developed an interest in art when he was in Primary school. In 2010 he trained at an art studio in Akowonjo Egbeda Lagos. His first artwork in 2011 was an illusion painting with poster color on cardboard. He currently works on paintings, pencil art and charcoal on canvas.

Aladejare2

WOLE OF “AYO-WOLE”: ADENIYI ADEWOLE WASIU: ARTIST

Wole is a native of Ila orangun in Osun state born in Ibadan, Oyo state. He attended Major Foundation school at Dopemu, Lagos State then Alimosho junior and senior grammar school. He just finished his ND program in General Art at the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech). Wole is currently pursuing his Degree in Sculpture at Yabatech.

Adewole6 Jss3 project

Adewole’s JSS3 project

Art and Training

Wole started drawing as a little kid and got quite serious in JSS1 where he met some friends that also drew. They mostly redrew the characters from Super Strikers and other Cartoons. One day Wole decided that he needed to start drawing real humans. He told his mother about it and asked her if she could take him to a place he could learn. His mother spoke to his father about it but he refused. However, his mother didn’t stop there, she met a few people his Father respected a lot and asked them to convince him. Fortunately, they did so she took him to train at Hakeem effects in year 2006.

Adewole2

Wole later trained at Abbeyrian Art & Co. and at Mide Art afterwards. Wole doesn’t have any plans of getting studio yet because it’s going to affect his education.

 

IMG-20180605-WA0002.jpg

THE ‘AYO-WOLE’ BRAND

AyoWole Art is a partnership of two friends Ayodeji Aladejare and Adeniyi Adewole Wasiu. The brand was created in 2014. The AyoWole brand covers drawings, paintings, prosthetic makeup effect and sculpture. The partners attended the same secondary school and met at a competition in school and they both attended Abbeyrian Art. After they graduated from Abbeyrian Art they agreed to be partners. They attend the same church, the Salvation Kingdom Church, get inspiration from society and their personal experiences. Their workshops are at their homes and their market is online.

Wole is the creative director of Ayowole Academy of Art where they train art students.

Screenshot_2018-05-27-18-22-07screenshot_2018-06-06-08-50-01-e1528639951337.png

COLLABORATIONS

They worked with Osaze Osayande on a Pulse TV mural painting projects and with Lefteye signatures on a mural painting projects at ‘The Backyard’.Adewole3 Pulse TV Mural Paintingscreenshot_2018-05-27-18-21-41.png

Pulse TV Mural Painting

EXHIBITIONS

They haven’t been involved in any exhibitions but they plan to host a Solo exhibition for their brand and their students in the last months of 2018.

Ayowole 9 Strain for LibertyIMG-20180524-WA0009

Strain For Liberty

 

FUNDS

The two partners have no other part time jobs that fund their art so they use the profit they make on commissioned jobs to buy materials for other jobs.

Ayowole 7

CHALLENGES

  • Client Confidence: Some clients often look down on them saying they are too young to handle their projects. They try their best to prove they can handle it professionally by showing off their previous work.
  • Work Environment: Because the brand’s workshop is located at home, many of their clients are neighbors and other familiar people who don’t value their work and so insist on paying low prices.

 

For inquiries, orders or commissions, you can reach the AyoWole Partners on;

  • Twitter: @ayowole_art
  • Instagram: @ayowoleart