ARTIST HANGOUT BY SUNDAY OZEGBE

Artists Hangout is a unique Gathering of Artist(e)s Initiated by Sunday Ozegbe (Valu).

Birthed out of the need to bring various Creatives From Dancers to Musicians, Djs,Poets, Visual Artists Film makers etc… together to Network, Share Ideas, Brainstorm and Chill at the Same time.

The 11th Edition held on the 29th of December 2018 in Collaboration with the Foot prints of David Arts Festival.

It streamed live on facebook and had the Esteem Chairman of The National Association of Theatre Arts Practitioners in Nigeria (Nantap Lagos) Mr Makinde Adeniran in Attendance.

Here is a short review from an Online participant of the Hangout ‘Tsalu Ayomi’

#ABCResources
One of the most enlightening events for artistes this year has been ArtistesHangout, brought to you by the Ennovate Dance House. This month’s edition which held today, 29th December, 2018, was a VVIP edition at one of the most unthinkable venues ever used for an artistes venture: beneath the popular Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos.

As part of the event, the discourse was open to an online audience. One of the questions raised and the details of the response to same is the basis for this report. This question was from Tsalu Ayomi, Artistic Director of the Above Ballet Company (ABC) and the response was by Mr Makinde Adeniran, Lagos State Chairman, ‘National Association For Theatre Arts Practitioners in Nigeria’, Nantap. Enjoy it.

‘I’m a graduate.
Many dancers are these days so it isn’t news.
One of the major challenges we have with accepting the arts; performing arts, entirely in this side of the globe (parents and even artistes themselves) is the issue of livelihood. No matter how talented one is in the arts form in practice, that question pops up each day and tests the resolve of that artiste:
Familial and societal expectations, staying funded in one’s artistic ventures and even surviving are some of the plagues of the African artiste. What can the ‘ordinary’ or upcoming artiste be assured of in terms of these concerns? Can one be entirely dedicated to this course without becoming extinct due to poverty and starvation? Let’s lay it bare…Is the only escape route alternative sources of income or investment? Can arts be entirely sufficient in funding one’s living in this increasingly complex world?’

Response:
One can entirely depend on arts to survive; yes! But not for all of us.
Some people invariably have to marry other things to survive.
You have to know your strengths, your network; what the range of your skill is and the power of your network. What is your ‘valuation’? Are you living above your means? A lot of artistes live above their means; such persons overprice themselves. You have to determine your worth. It comes to yourself basically.

You may also agree that we have a defective system where the practice of arts is not so structured yet. So, it is a personal consideration of all of these factors that will lead to your making a decision for practicing the arts entirely; you have to know all of this before you can practice arts full time. This is a function of your sincerity; sincerity and truthfulness with self. You need to tell yourself: this is where I am at and live by it. It’s living without your rose-coloured lenses.

If you’re a 25-30 years old artiste who expects immediate results (out of youthfulness, of course) without building the necessary strength of network that requires, you’re being delusional. What are the responsibilities on you at the moment? Is your character worthy of trust and association? It ultimately comes back to you; you need to check yourself and constantly review the feedbacks from you. I am an example of people living entirely by the practice of arts (with a family, lol). I won’t say I’m poverty-striken; I live comfortably with my family. I’ve done nothing else other than the practice of arts.
So, I can stand here confidently as say, ‘Yes’ to that question, but I honestly can’t say that is true for everyone. I have to open you up to the realities of it.

If your scales are dishonest and you are involved in cheating; no matter how many years you put into your dishonest ways, you can’t obviously build a life around arts or be certain that it will sustain you because you’re not building network; you’re not horning your skills. You just cut corners.

So, with the privilege of having this knowledge available to me because of my position and work, I’ll advise that you shouldn’t depend solely on the practice for your livelihood. However, some of us have lived on arts for the past thirty years and more.

Conclusion
The practice of arts as an sole venture is a decision that requires that the artiste be aware of and considers a number of impending factors; skills, network, value system and creativity in harnessing arts inherent benefits, among many others. Others have done it and some are still doing it, living entirely from the practice of arts. It is possible. The onus, only, lies on you.

Compiled by: Tsalu Ayomi
For: Ennovate Dance House

ARTIST HANGOUT BY SUNDAY OZEGBE

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