By Nimah Ibrahim
The Sobayo Abolore Art Center has wrapped up its week-long training session aimed at equipping fresh post-secondary school graduates with skills and mentorship needed to thrive in life beyond secondary school.
A total of 14 youths were trained on different skills and mentorship programme and were awarded certificate of participation on completion of the programme.
The event was packed with various sessions and facilitators from all walks of life graced the week-long training.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, founder of the Sobayo Abolore Art Foundation, Mr Abolore Sobayo said the essence of his organising the training session was to use art to bring desired positive change in the society.
Sobayo disclosed that the eroded culture in our society today can be corrected using art, saying it was that reason that made him came up with a centre called Jeleosinmi Art Centre in Oshodi to help the youths in channelling their energies in the right direction and remain focus for society development.
He said, “Well this is it, for me as an artist, art is all I’ve known all my life and art has gone beyond aesthetics, it can be used for social change and it has gone to becoming being used for therapies. So, what we intend to do with this place is to use it as a tool to enlighten and liberate some of the youths. That’s why our focus is to use this organisation to lure people away from social violence. Because we all think the youths need where they’ll dispense all their energy, and art provides this avenue. And in some other climes, we’ve seen art centres being used to curb crime rate and communities. Our aim is to use this centre to impact more lives positively, to redirect and refocus and benefit the community, the youths and everybody at large.”
Stating reason for the one week long training for youths, Sobayo said, “what we’ve decided is after creating the Jelosimi Art Center here in Oshodi, our focus is basically children, and as part of our focus, using art for societal change, we decided to create a one-week training for post-secondary school students.
The fresh graduates of 2019/2020 from secondary schools around us. And the essence of the program is, we feel at a time like this, after graduating from secondary school, we need to sharpen their skills and give them some kind of pep talk on major skills so that they’ll fasten their journey towards their future goals. We should share experience, bring people to talk to them, in terms of how they can reach their destination on time and faster”.
Asked how the participants would be monitored after the training, given the background that many trainings of this nature have come and gone without follow up, Sobayo said, there will be close monitoring of the students in making sure the purpose of the training which is self and societal development and growth is not defeated.
He said, “Immediately after the program, we’ve decided to metamorphosed into a reading group, because one of the speakers that came to talk to them shared his experience and gave two of his memos, books, titled ‘Atunbi’, his name is Ayokunbi Adewale, he told the students and we all agreed that we’ll be reading every month, we’ll be coming together to read and this will also give us an avenue to check on our success and our goals and how we’re doing.
We’ve also given room for the students for counselling, we’ve also created a WhatsApp group where we can communicate and share our worries.”
He said the foundation hopes to keep the training on an annual basis for secondary school graduates, he said: “We hope to keep doing it annually for fresh secondary school graduates”.
Furthermore, Sobayo, he revealed that the art centre will be officially launched in a few days time and that the wisdom behind having such programme is to use arts as a tool for societal change.
Speaking with The Bliss News, one of the participants, Islamiyat Muhammad, said she felt reluctant answering the call of participation when she heard art centre but to her, the training was a life-transforming.
She said, “when I first heard about the programme, I didn’t pay attention to it because I felt of what use is an art foundation training for a commercial student like me? But on getting here, I realized that this is one of the best decisions I’ve made in life. And I plan to have something like in the nearest future.”
Another participant, Sulaiman Abdulkareem thanked the foundation for given him and his colleagues the opportunity to learn new thing.
He said the training had helped him to have more positive minds to things and had shaped his orientation about setting smart goals in life.