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Refocusing Cultural Leadership: Insights from the Holding Talks Session

Refocusing Cultural Leadership: Insights from the Holding Talks Session

Mathew Eloyi

On April 30,, 2024, the 38th edition of the Holding Talks session, hosted by Arojah Royal Theatre, held at the Korean Cultural Centre, Abuja, brought together key players in the creative and cultural industry to discuss pressing issues of leadership and accountability. The event shed light on the critical need for transformative leadership and transparency within Nigeria’s cultural sector.

In his opening remarks, Om’Oba Jerry Adesewo, the artistic director of Arojah Royal Theatre, emphasized the importance of addressing the leadership deficit and lack of accountability prevalent in cultural agencies and professional associations across the country. He underscored the event’s objective to identify challenges and develop frameworks to enhance the cultural industry’s alignment with government policies.

Guest speaker Mr. Imal Silva, CEO of Treasure4Life AGH, delivered a thought-provoking talk on leadership and accountability in the creative sector. He highlighted the universal principles of value creation and transfer, emphasizing the need for tailored approaches to address Nigeria’s unique cultural landscape.

Silva outlined key steps to foster robust leadership and accountability, including visible political will, financial support, industry recognition, stakeholder engagement, and public advocacy. His insights provided a roadmap for enhancing governance and transparency in the cultural sector.

Contributions from panelists Mr. Dotun Osunsanya and Dr. Lizi Ben-Iheanacho further enriched the discussion, with Osunsanya highlighting challenges surrounding the Nigerian Endowment Fund for the Arts and Ben-Iheanacho emphasizing the government’s role in preserving Nigeria’s cultural heritage.

Participants expressed concerns about the proliferation of professional associations and the need for greater stakeholder collaboration. Mr. Patrick Otoro of Rivers of Water Productions emphasized the importance of continuous dialogue and advocacy to drive positive change in the sector.

In response to stakeholders’ concerns, Mr. Roshan Nanayakkara, Special Assistant to the Minister of Arts, Culture, and Tourism, pledged the ministry’s commitment to engaging with stakeholders and implementing strategies to revitalize the art scene in Nigeria.

The Holding Talks, spearheaded by Om’Oba Jerry Adesewo and Arojah Royal Theatre, serves as a vital platform for dialogue and engagement within Nigeria’s cultural sector. The leadership and accountability series, supported by the MacArthur Foundation through the Centre for Information and Technology Development Agency (CITAD), aims to catalyze positive transformation within the industry.


Refocusing Cultural Leadership: Insights from the Holding Talks Session

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