MTN and the Ford Foundation have restated their commitment to empowering young people in the field of arts in order to ensure that they maximise their talents and contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria.
The Foundations made the commitment at the 2023 grand finale and award night of the Life in my City Arts Festival (LIMCAF) which was held in Enugu State with the theme: Fix It.
This year’s award saw the introduction of new categories, including the children’s workshop prize and specialised awards for the most creative female and selected persons with disabilities.
In his address, the Director of the foundation, Dennis Okoro, said the greatest treasures of countries were buried when those who should have contributed in one way or the other towards development were not given the support they deserve.
He, however, noted that LIMCAF had become a beacon of light and encouragement for young growing artists in Nigeria over the years, adding that the MTN Foundation remained committed to supporting these young people in the field of arts because it has seen the merits in what they are doing with their talents.
“We will continue to support them so long as the resources are available, “he said.
“MTN’s dedication to the growth and development of young people is part of our corporate social responsibility which keeps the company going in Nigeria,” he added.
While noting that the Foundation works in the areas of health, education, economic empowerment and visual arts, he expressed happiness with the yearly increase in the number of entries, which according to him, shows the pull of talents available in Nigeria.
On his part, the Senior Program officer at Ford Foundation, Dabesaki Mac-Ikemejima, said the theme for this year was a call to action for young people to think about and express their aspirations for the feature.
He said the Foundation believes in the power and potential for young people to thrive and explains its support for the work that LIMCAF does, while also calling on well-meaning Nigerians with the resources to pull them together for the growth of young people in the country.
Earlier, the Chairman of the seven-man Jury which made the selection of winners, Ayo Aina, said the excellence of the entries made their task an arduous one, adding that they were judged on the basis of thematic expression, creative use of materials and quality of finish and presentation and how the works fit into the theme for the year.
Highpoints of the event were the presentation of cash prizes of N500,000 each to the winners of different categories of the award, including painting and mixed media, Ceramics, Graphics and digital photography, textile Arts and fashion, Sculpture and installation and N50,000 consolation prizes to 25 finalists.