Lagos, Nigeria- The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) projects that Nigeria’s expansive creative sector, spanning media, entertainment, beauty, lifestyle, visual arts, tourism, and hospitality, is set to achieve a remarkable valuation of $15 billion by 2025. Described as the “interface between creativity, culture, economics, and technology,” Nigeria’s creative economy is characterized by its diversity, incorporating talents from various ethnic groups.
AYKO Agency, a dynamic talent and modeling agency founded by Koya Onagoruwa and Ayoola Bakare, aims to play a pivotal role in this growth. The agency, born out of a shared passion for discovering and nurturing raw African talent, particularly in modeling, envisions the creative sector becoming a significant economic force, filling gaps left by other industries in the nation.
Despite Africa accounting for only one percent of the global creative industry, according to AYKO Agency, the continent faces challenges such as poor infrastructure, limited access to funding and markets, intellectual property issues, and a lack of supportive policies and regulations.
In response to these challenges, AYKO Agency organized the inaugural ‘Social Gathering on Nigeria’s Creative Economy.’ This networking and social event focused on bringing together individuals with a vested interest in Nigeria’s creative industry. The goal was to facilitate dialogue on industry advancement, preparing for the next decade by discussing ways to promote creative solutions and unlock commercial opportunities.
Speaking at the event held in Lagos, Koya Onagoruwa, co-founder of AYKO Agency, emphasized the agency’s commitment to identifying, nurturing, and showcasing talents. He highlighted the substantial potential of the creative industry, driven by the youth, urbanization, and shifting consumption patterns. Onagoruwa stressed the need for a conversation about the creative industry to support Nigeria’s economic goals.
“The creative industry, including tourism, beauty, and fashion, is projected to reach about $15 billion by 2025 for Nigeria. In 2021, it was $7.7 billion, doubling in four years, and is expected to nearly triple to $30 billion in the next four years,” explained Onagoruwa.
The event featured a panel of industry leaders, including Remi Ademiju, executive director of SME100 Africa, Adaora Mbelu, co-founder at Luminatuon, and Ifeanyi Nwune, a music manager and fashion designer. These panelists, along with AYKO Agency, aim to steer the industry towards a brighter future.
Ayoola Bakare, co-founder of AYKO Agency, emphasized the agency’s focus on supporting young creatives in Africa. She stressed the importance of providing a support system for young individuals in the creative field and highlighted the need for collaboration among industry stakeholders to improve the Nigerian economy.
As Nigeria’s creative sector continues to grow, it plays a crucial role in providing opportunities for the country’s youth, contributing to job creation and economic empowerment. The creative industry, with its diverse segments, offers a platform for young talents to explore their potential and pursue careers in areas such as music, fashion, and visual arts. By fostering a creative ecosystem, initiatives like AYKO Agency’s social gathering not only promote economic growth but also contribute to reducing social vices.
The creative industry serves as a positive outlet for the energy and creativity of young individuals, steering them away from negative influences and activities. Through mentorship programs, talent development, and collaborative efforts, the sector becomes a driving force in shaping a generation that is not only economically empowered but also socially responsible.
In conclusion, the creative economy in Nigeria is poised for significant growth, and initiatives like AYKO Agency’s ‘Social Gathering on Nigeria’s Creative Economy’ are instrumental in fostering collaboration, dialogue, and innovation. As the sector thrives, it not only contributes to the nation’s economic prosperity but also provides a pathway for the youth to thrive, reducing social vices and creating a vibrant and sustainable creative ecosystem for the future.