PawStudios Africa, operators of the Lagos and Abuja Fringe festivals in collaboration with the Nigerian-German Center for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, have trained 250 creatives in Lagos and Abuja in marketing and communication skills requisite for them to operate viable and fundable businesses.
The four-day bootcamp, which saw the creatives divided into morning and afternoon sessions, trained them on Developing A Creative Identity, Content Pillars and Structure, Brand Identity & Social Media, and Grant Writing for Beginners.
On why it focused on imparting these specific skillsets to creatives, CEO, PawStudios, Kenneth Uphopho said beyond it being a lifelong vision to improve the livelihood of creatives, creatives don’t view themselves as entrepreneurs, a mindset, he aims to shift.
Creatives, he further noted are scared to apply for grants owing to a lack of self-worth and ignorance of the value of their work.
“This workshop is dedicated to shifting that way of thinking, and hopefully, in small percentages at a time, get to the targeted number. So far, we have trained about 250 creatives in Lagos and Abuja from this bootcamp series. That’s like half our targeted number. We will be returning again in the next couple of months to do more. If we can reach a million creatives by 2023 that will be great,” Uphopho.
The theatre director and ex-manager of the Lagos Theatre Festival said post the bootcamp the organization will keep up with participants via a mentorship and internship process that among other things would lead to exhibiting their works at the upcoming Lagos and Abuja Fringe festivals scheduled to hold later this year.
“We developed two cohorts of participants each, at the morning and afternoon sessions. WhatsApp groups or email threads will be developed for each of the cohorts. There will be someone to provide oversight for each cohort. They will disseminate information and share resources with them. We plan to share an eBook on Grant writing such that everyone will have a resource to reference when applying for grants.”
Creative, Princess Ashe couldn’t pay enough compliments to the facilitators, noting that applying the knowledge gained at the bootcamp, it’s impacted her business and self-confidence.
“It’s boosted my confidence level from here to there,” said Ashe whose work was ground to a halt the past week by an unforthcoming graphic designer. By simply applying the little knowledge of Canva App taught at the bootcamp, she had been able to design and display her content herself. “It gave me this superpower feeling to be able to do what I did. I honestly appreciate the class,” said Ashe.
Chinyere Erondu, the young CEO of Yellow Brush Cleaning Company, loved the bootcamp experience. Although, the particular course content she targeted was cancelled owing to extenuating circumstances, she learnt enough from the four days to begin developing audience for her business.
“The creative identity class helped. I learnt a lot today about grant writing. Previously, I have applied for grants, and today, I know why I never got any of those grants. I think it will help me moving forward because I know what to do; how to apply; who to reach out to for advice – which is very important,” stressed Erondu.
For dancer, events planner and lights engineer, Ariyo Daniel, the bootcamp taught him the value of his work and self-worth. Daniel who moved to Abuja four months ago have had challenges getting work at the appropriate price.
“I didn’t really have a rate card. And because I didn’t want to lose jobs, I settled to asking people, “How much is your budget? What can you pay?” But I know my rights now. I can boldly say, “this is my price, you either take it or leave it,” I have also made new connections and network in the process. I believe with what I have seen, heard, and learnt, I will become a better person as an individual and a professional.”