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Cartoon Africa International Festival Initiator Calls for Partnership to Build N4.2b Int’l Cartoon Museum and Animation Centre

CAIB Media

As the CARTOON AFRICA INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL (CAIB) FESTIVAL enters its 4th edition in Benin City, Nigeria, this year, 2018, Mr. Francis Umendu Odupute, initiator and curator of the collaborative cartoons and comedic arts  fiesta and Director of Francodus International Communications (FIC), an art/media business registered in Nigeria, has made an open call for private, public partnership locally and globally, to enable the organization (FIC)and its implementing partners to fully realize and sustain the international social impart cum cartoon business initiative.

Odupute told newsmen in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, recently  that the 4th Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) festival will be hosted by Crowne Art Gallery (inside Hexagon), 2A, Golf Course Road, G.R.A., Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, from  23rd - 30th November, 2018.

According to him, the proposed ‘CartoonAfrica Museum & Animation Centre’, when fully established, would become a global reference point and the pride of African cartoon and animation industry of the future, adding that the multi-purpose and all-inclusive initiative cannot be achieved without concrete private and public partnership and financial support. He said at this stage of the CAIB program, with a series of strategic fundraising training workshops, traveling advocacy cartoon campaigns and collaborative creative education, art cum media projects planned to last about 24 months after the opening of the 4th CAIB festival 2018/2019, in November, 2018, the sponsorship cum partnership call had become inevitable.

Odupute called for local and international partners, sponsors and investors in public and the private sectors, to support the CAIB vision, on mutually benefiting terms, to make it financially viable, effective and sustainable.

He said “We cannot do it alone; we need like minds in Nigeria, across Africa and overseas, to buy into this bankable idea. We need the support of individuals, philanthropists, corporate bodies like art galleries, NGOs/civil society organizations, the media, advert companies, publishers, educational institutions, entertainment industries, banks, embassies, government ministries and agencies, religious bodies, tourism/cultural organizations, traditional institutions and all other relevant stakeholders across the world, to actualize the Cartoon Africa Museum and Animation Centre.

“We have started very small since 2012, and we’re consolidating on our successes and learning from our failures so far. The proposed N4.2billion project will be achieved in phases, stage by stage, and is expected to commence in November, this year, 2018, by the grace of Almighty God, with the with the launch of some fundraiser projects, crowd-funding campaigns, purchase or leasing of property as a befitting office space, procurement of some key art and media tools, equipment and, of course, the purchase of a parcel of land to domicile the cartoon museum and animation center here in Benin City.

“Some of the CAIB strategic projects include the Francodus Cartoon Workshop series for kids and youths; the Cartoon Africa Animation Roundtable/workshop series; the “LIFEGATE Comics and Animation Challenge”; the Cartoon Africa Children’s Comics and Animation Funfair (CACCAFun); and the CAIB eLearning program for African girls and women- a technology driven capacity building program to bridge the gender gap in African cartoon and comedic arts industry -all featuring as the main program contents of the 4th CAIB festival 2018/2019.”

Says Odupute: “When in place, the Cartoon Centre will bench-mark  and bench-race the thriving entertainment industries in Europe, America and Asia to re-shape Africa’s cartoon industry and impact positively on its  creative economy, beginning from Nigeria. It will be a leading creative force in raising an army of world class cartoonists,  cartoon animators, multimedia experts and other art and media change makers that will offer the world something new and truly African, by Africans themselves - alternative world class, indigenous and wholesome entertainment and cultural communication contents in a global context. It will collaboratively revamp the creative economy of Nigeria, especially through digital educational cum visual literacy media contents, children/ youth literature; virtual press cartoons/ web comics, animation movie productions/marketing; research and skills development of youths into the field.

“The cartoon museum and animation center will directly employ/engage nothing less than 500 African citizens alone, as well as create and accelerate opportunities for entrepreneurships, creative and cultural tourism, visual literacy cum creative education innovations, educational tours and excursions for children and youths, researches and trainings for students in cartooning, animations, visual journalism/pictorial storytelling” Odupute said.

The CAIB program is currently being organized and managed by three small groups/implementing partners: theAfrican Press Cartoon Services (APCS); Beautiful Feet Kreativ Brainz Klub (an organ of the Beautiful Feet International (BFI), a faith-based development organization; andFICDATA Artists’ Cluster (a program of Francodus International Communications (FIC). With more investors and partners coming on board in “win-win collaborative contexts”, Odupute believes the sky is the limit of the communication benefits, economic possibilities, and social impacts that Cartoon Africa international Biennial festival can bring to Nigeria in particular, and to Africa in general.

Recall that in December 2012, the“CAIB Cartoon Museum” was set up by Francis U. Odupute, after the hosting of the maiden edition of CAIB festival by White Space in Ikoyi, Lagos, in November that year, to protect and preserve all the cartoon submissions gleaned from various participating artists and cartoonists from different parts of the world, in the context of biennial cartoon contests.

 The selected artworks from various editions of CAIB draw upon some strategic thematic topics meant to deployed by the organizers to broaden awareness on, and draw attention to, some vital development issues not given the attention they deserved, in favour of Africa’s sustainable development and productivity, for public education, and to foster dialogues and creative interfaces within the prism of graphic humour and edutainment. However, funding challenges, among other logistics, have hitherto precluded the full take off of the cartoon museum project.

Odupute, however, acknowledged the in-kind support of the following corporate bodies: WHITE SPACE, Ikoyi, Lagos; Hill Communications, Canada; National Museum, Benin City; Edo State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism, Benin City; National Gallery of Art (NGA) Benin City center; Horizon International, USA; Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council; Center for Benin Studies, Benin City; and other supporters who have in various ways identified with the CAIB vision from the onset till date.

Photo: CLARION CALL: Multiple international media award winning artist cum journalist, Francis Umendu Odupute, addresses participants at the 3rd CAIB festival, 2016, held inside the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council in Benin City, Nigeria.
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