According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s creative sector, encompassing media, entertainment, beauty, lifestyle, visual arts, tourism and hospitality is projected to soar to a staggering worth of $15 billion by 2025.
Nigeria’s creative economy is vast and diverse as it houses creatives from different ethnic groups and can be described as ‘the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology.’
AYKO Agency, a talent and modelling agency born out of shared passion of the cofounders, Koya Onagoruwa and Ayoola Bakare to discover and nurture raw African models and showcase them to the world has said that they are of the notion that with enormous potential, driven by the youth, growing urbanisation and shifting consumption patterns, and a once undervalued industry is now poised to become a significant economic force, filling the void left by other industries in the nation.
Given that Africa, as a continent, only accounts for one percent of the global creative industry, according to AYKO Agency, Africa’s ability to create has been somewhat constrained by factors like poor infrastructure, restricted access to funding and markets, intellectual property issues, and a lack of supportive policies and regulations.
In a bid to address these challenges to enable Nigeria not only meet projected $15 billion in 2025 but surpass it and double in the coming years, AYKO Agency held the maiden ‘Social Gathering on Nigeria’s Creative Economy’, a networking and social gathering that focuses on individuals with interests in Nigeria’s creative industry.
The event is aimed at facilitating and encouraging dialogue on the advancement of the industry in preparation for the next decade through discussions of ways of promoting creative solutions and unlocking commercial opportunities within the creative industry.
Speaking during a social gathering on Nigeria’s Creative Economy which was recently held in Lagos, Koya Onagoruwa, co- founder Ayko Agency said there is a lot going on at the moment with the Nigerian economy and AYKO from inception had always focused on the best ways to ensure that it identifies talents, nurture them and showcase them to the world.
Onagoruwa said he and the co-founder of AYKO believes that having a conversation about the creative industry will help support their mission and the event is coming at a time when Nigeria is looking at ways of generating income.
“We have a lot of like-minded people here and we thought we will just contribute our own conversation.
“One the of the researches we came across when we were preparing for this meeting was that whenever they talk about Nigeria’s Creative industry, they don’t include music recording and motion picture. Those two are really big on their own. Everything from tourism, beauty etc are projected to reach about $15 billion by 2025 for Nigeria.
“In 2021, it was $7.7billion, four years it doubled to $15 billion and in four years time, it would be nearly $30 billion. For those in the room, they have come to support us but they have also come to find out how they can make money out of the industry and we thought why shouldn’t AYKO be in that space to help start the conversation,” he explained.
He stressed that their background for AYKO agency is around talents which are recording artists and models but the creative industry also covers tourism, beauty and fashion, and other sectors as well.
He said AYKO’s part in this is to ensure that it has to start that conversation and with a wide range of people in the room who cover every part that makes the creative sector, thier job is to glue them together, see how they can all have a conversation that would be beneficial financially and contribute to the GDP.
With a panel made up of people who are industry leaders in their fields, he said they are poised to take the industry to a better place.
The panelists at the event include Remi Ademiju, an innovative and entrepreneural leader currently serving as the executive director of SME100 Africa, Adaora Mbelu, a co-founder at Luminatuon, an Afrocentric Transformational Learning Company and Ifeanyi Nwune, a music manager and fashion designer.
Ayoola Bakare, co-founder AYKO Agency said AYKO started because of its focus to support the young creatives in Africa.
According to her, creative is a field where a lot of people are evolving in, adding that while we were all young, we tend to channel into our creative more than we start to look into other things.
Bakare said it is important for the young individuals to have a support system at that space, adding that it is a mutual passion from her and the co-founder to support young creatives in Africa.
“We do have some of the young ones and talent in the space. However, this event specifically is for seniors in the industry and basically focusing on the Nigerian economy. How can we make it better? Who are the people already doing this? It is the decision makers that can make this happen.
“Nigeria is just getting in. We are not there yet but it can be better and we need every support to get us to a better place,” she said.