NGA D-G urges parents to support children’s interest in arts


By Leonard Okachie

The Director-General, National Gallery of Art (NGA), Mr Ebeten Ivara, has urged parents and other stakeholders to encourage and support their children’s interest in visual arts.

Ivara gave the advice on Saturday at the Art Club Exhibition and Launch of Ikiri-Agu Palace Museum at Umuajata Olokoro in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia.

Amb. Mishak Nnanta confers Igbo title on the NGA DG, Mr Ebeten Ivara.

According to him, art has gained immense recognition and has become very lucrative, unlike before when it was erroneously perceived as unserious venture for unserious people.

Ivara, who expressed happiness about the children’s artistic ability and originality in their exhibition said “We should do everything possible to catch them young.”

“With what I have seen here, it means that these children are not left without trying to get used to our culture and tradition by displaying them in the works of art.

Exhibition by Saturday Art Club.


“This exhibition will be a monthly occasion to at least, show these children that we appreciate what they are doing,” director-general said.

He commended His Imperial Majesty, Amb. Mishak NNanta, President-General, Igbo World Union (IWU), Gburugbu Ndi Igbo Dum, for promoting art and culture.

He also pledged to support Nnanta in his plan to build a befitting gallery at his Ikiri-Agu Palace Museum.

In his remarks, the Curator, NGA, Umuahiia, Mr Chukwudi Omeje, described the Saturday Art Club as a weekly programme organised to bring children of different ages together and teach them the various aspects of visual art.

Cultural display by Holy Rosary Secondary School, Umuahia.

According to him, the programme runs at NGA headquarters and its various outstations across the country to inculcate the love of visual art in the participating children.

In her presentation, the Curator, National War Museum, Umuahia, Mrs Evelyn Osuagwu, said the exhibition theme,”Towards harnessing the talents of youths and protecting education from attack” was a fundamental human rights.

Osuagwu, who decried the increasing attacks on schools, said that advocacy would play a crucial role to create awareness and avoid leaving the most vulnerable students behind.

Also, Mr Theophilus Amadi, the Curator, National Museum of Colonial History, Aba, encouraged children as well as parents to always visit museums.

He said that the collections or objects in the museum were embedded with reach information about the nation’s cultural heritage.

Cultural dance by Ibeku High School, Umuahia.


Chief Uzoma Nwogwugwu, President, National Apex of Nigerian Farmers Cooperative Societies, stressed the need to encourage the children to preserve the Igbo culture and tradition.

“Nnanta should be supported by all because he has brought us together to have a flash back of the Igbo during the reign of Dr Michael Okpara, then Premier of the Eastern Region, and others,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlight of the event was the presentation of award of ‘Grand Commander of Ndigbo Dum’ to Nnanta by NGA in collaboration with National War Museum, Museum of Colonial History and National Library, Umuahia.

The award was in consideration of his relentless efforts to protecting and preserving the Igbo culture and heritage.

Responding, Nnanta conferred a title of ‘Abo Ngwalite Omenala Ndigbo Dum’ on the NGA boss for his commitment to the pursuit of Igbo interest.”

NAN also reports that the occasion featured debate in Igbo, cultural dance and other side attractions by the children.(NAN)