Africa Creative Market (ACM), an all-inclusive event for talents and stakeholders in Africa’s creative industry has empowered several creatives to scale by providing the platform for establishing commercially viable and sustainable business models.
ACM which was founded by Inya Lawal, the president of the Ascend Studios Foundation held its maiden edition recently in Lagos. The event converged Africa’s creatives in one sitting, providing endless opportunities for them to upgrade their skills and industry knowledge base, as well as have access to necessary funding.
The 2022 ACM event had capacity-building masterclasses, workshops, pitch sessions, competitions, panel discussions, conversations, and market exhibitions, fashion shows, amongst others all in a bid to foster exchange of value, ideas, creativity and perceptions in Africa’s creative sector.
Speaking during the 2022 ACM at the Land Mark Event Centre in Lagos, Nicole Ackermann, co-founder of ACM, said there are so many young talents here in Nigeria and the ACM platform will help create opportunities that are already there and the resources needed to boost the industry including the film, music, dance and fashion aspects.
“We wanted to bring together talents and creative people who are already running their art as a business and we want to elevate their businesses and make it more sustainable. To do this, we invited stakeholders from companies, political institutions, policymakers and had a conversation about what is needed, what is readily available and what can be learnt from others.
“There are representatives from different countries and different continents. People can learn from what is already happening, what mistakes have been made, and what can help to bring the industry ahead. We have representatives from Brazil, Los Angeles, U. S, Greece, Germany, and from the UK,” Ackermann said.
She assured that by the end of the event, there would be follow-up programmes and conversations to help young talents keep adapting to changes that come with the new marketplace.
Katherine Wintsch, CEO, The Mom Complex and author of ‘Slay Like a Mother’ from Virginia, U.S. who was also a speaker at one of the capacity-building masterclasses said Slay Like a Mother is a self-hope book for how to overcome self-doubt and believe in oneself.
According to her, there is a lot of self-doubt in the Creative Community and it is a blessing to be able to bring this message to Nigeria so that those in Nigeria’s Creative Industry can believe in themselves more, fight for themselves more and put themselves out there.
“Slay Like a Mother has been very successful and I have travelled around the world sharing this message. I was in India not too long ago and that was where I met some beautiful Nigerian women and they said I needed to come to Africa and share this message. So it is really changing people’s lives all over the world,” Wintsch said.
In her Master Class, she said she spoke about people taking off their masks, standing up for themselves and putting themselves out for opportunities.
“A lot of us wear masks and say we are fine and that we don’t need help. My advice for people is to start saying no to other people and say yes to yourself. We give away all of our time and energy to other people and we forget that we need to maintain some of that time and energy for ourselves. This is not selfish and it really can be quite life-changing.
“After staying in Nigeria for almost a week now, I think a lot of Nigerian women are beautiful on the outside but sometimes are holding things back on the inside. The women of Nigeria can benefit from this book and start to stand up for themselves. We have to believe in ourselves to stand up for ourselves and I am happy to play a small part in making that happen,” she said.
Olamide Olarewaju, who also spoke in one of the Masterclasses on the topic – ‘Fashion and Technology: The Dual Way to Grow,’ said the event was important because the fashion industry is suffering and is supposed to have progressed beyond what it is in Nigeria.
“Compared to music, the fashion industry is struggling and we have a lot of creative people in this space who are supposed to sell and produce on a larger scale but they are not able to do that because they are underfunded. So, these conversations open this industry to investors to understand the underlying issues that the industry has.
“It is important to talk about these things so that people will know all the struggles the fashion industry is going through and hopefully, there will be solutions. Why do we have creatives who cannot afford to pay salaries? Why do we have people who are not selling and their pieces are not known? There are no funds to create these pieces, talk less of shipping them out. So these conversations will help people see what they are capable of doing and hopefully this will attract investors and funds to the industry,” Olanrewaju added.