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Ismail Ayobami Alatise Urges Visual Artists To Promote African Ideas And Values

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During a time where Uganda waits on President Museveni’s decision on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, Nigerian envoy, Ismail Ayobami Alatise, addresses Artists in eastern Africa. He made the remarks during the unveiling ceremony of the judges for the forthcoming “My Impression” visual art competition that will happen on March 30, at the UNCC Nommo Gallery, Uganda’s National Gallery.

Officials from the Nigerian High Commission and the judges pose for a group photo with UNCC officials. Courtesy of Monitor.

Ismail Ayobami Alatise, the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s High Commissioner in Uganda, has urged the visual artists in East Africa to use their talents to preserve and promote African culture.

“They are very free to come up with ideas of the values they want the society to preserve. I am sure the artists have been doing that from the time memorial and this will continue. The social problems we have are many in both our countries and both in the world as a whole and the artists will continue to play their role depending on where they sit,” he said.

He advised society to admit that humanity is a mix and that the people that are practicing homosexuality are part of the society, among them can be artists.

“It is a social problem for those of us who disagree with it, to those who agree with it, they see it as a way of life. The responsibilities of groups and individuals are to continue in whichever way they can to make impacts but us in this journey, Positive ideas and values are the things that we will continue to promote,” the ambassador added.

In order to protect and preserve the cultural values that have always existed in Uganda, according to Francis Peter Ojede, Executive Director of the Uganda National Cultural Center (UNCC), one of the UNCC’s primary responsibilities is to preserve, promote, and popularize art and culture in Uganda and beyond.

Ambassador Ismail Ayobami Alatise addressing the media at the Nigerian High Commission. Courtesy of Sqoop.

The judges unveiled for the “My impression of Uganda, My impression of Nigeria” visual art competitions include: Art Educator Dr. Maureen Muwanga Senoga, Nigerian born- Ugandan raised Pop Artist and Illustrator Venus Aransiola, Artist Sanaa Gateja, Senior counselor and Diplomat Ajayi Y. James and Visual Artist Paul Lubowa.

Ambassador Ismail also expressed appreciation for the Ugandan community’s enthusiasm for the arts, creative and culture of Nigeria. He claims that the support might be reciprocated through programs like the art competition.

“It is worth noting that, in terms of percentage, the Ugandans have embraced more of the Nigerian creative and cultural products, and therefore the need to deliberately have the same reciprocated in Nigeria, where we would see more Ugandan artistic products received and enjoyed in Nigeria. Such initiatives as cultural exchanges and cultural cooperation can help achieve this,” he expressed.


Bardi Osobuanomola Catherine is a budding storyteller. Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Benin. She has contributed to numerous Art publications across Africa. She is currently a Writer for Art News Africa.

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