The MAIRO Women Foundation Ushafa, a non-governmental organization (NGO), has expressed its interest in partnering with the African International Documentary Festival Foundation (AFIDFF) to protect pottery as an art form and cultural heritage for women in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The founder of the organization, Mrs. Maryamu Barnabas, during her visit to AFIDFF, revealed her plans to enhance and popularize the pottery heritage among the indigenous inhabitants of the FCT.
In her words, “Pottery has been the exclusive means of livelihood for women in various parts of Nigeria and some other parts of Africa and as such, must not be different for the original inhabitants of the city.”
“The ancient craft alongside other Nigerian arts and culture have greatly helped in promoting and putting the country on the world tourism map.”
According to Barnabas, her foundation “is committed to amplifying the rights of women in rural communities in the FCT, with the intention of empowering them in various vocational skills, pottery inclusive.”
“One of the major pottery centres we have in the FCT is located in Ushafa in Bwari Area Council, it was designed to attract tourists, and buyers to empower the initiative of rural woman, whose major occupation here is pottery.”
“It is a cultural skill that, if adequately funded, can generate foreign exchange earnings and improve the country’s Internally Generated Revenue.”
“So far, I can boldly say that Mairo Women Foundation Ushafa has empowered over 5, 000 women and still counting but we have close to 400 active members.”
“We have trained over 500 in skills acquisition and disbursed over N5 million in cash and start-up grants, as well as financial aids to women and the vulnerable in our communities.”
Read Also: From Village Apprentice To International Recognition: The Story Of Ladi Kwali, The Pioneer Of Nigerian Pottery
She noted that the foundation had several objectives, including enhancing the leadership skills of women, enhancing the socioeconomic status of women, and increasing the literacy rate among women, among other goals.
Mrs Malame Manghza, the Director-General of AFIDFF, assured the team of AFIDFF’s willingness to cooperate in the advancement and evaluation of pottery in the FCT and across Africa adding that the format would be in the style of a documentary and storytelling.
Manghza stated that the objective of AFIDFF was to fuel the progress of the cultural and creative industries through a collaborative initiative focused on passing down traditional skills and preserving cultural heritage for the younger generation, in order to protect and maintain the cultural identity of communities.
According to The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), AFIDFF is an organization that upholds the principles of national and international cultural values and is committed to safeguarding Africa’s abundant cultural heritage and history.