Aisha Buhari, Hanan and Lai Mohammed at the exhibition.

Yinka Olatunbosun

It was a roll call of dignitaries and art enthusiasts when the daughter of the Nigeria’s President, Hanan Buhari demonstrated her passion for photography and showcased her creativity in a solo exhibition in Abuja, recently.

Perhaps, the first of first daughters of the Nigerian state in history to attract such attention to arts, Hanan’s example shows clearly that talent thrives with parental support. She bore the same sentiment in her later remarks. Meanwhile, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has described the exhibition as “a game changer”.

“This exhibition is a game changer in the sense that it is going to change the perception of our people towards the creative industry. I am using the word creative industry in a very elastic manner to include film, music, photography, interior decoration, architecture and publishing. The truth of the matter is that this is the future of Nigeria,” the Minister said at the opening of the exhibition, whose theme is “Innovation by Hanan”.

The Minister added also that in the past generations, parents wanted their children to be lawyers, doctors, engineers and accountants. “It was very unusual in those days to see a parent that would encourage his son or daughter to take to the creative industry,” he said

In his assessment of the pieces, Mohammed said the works of Hanan would change the perception of people towards the creative industry, which is not for drop-outs or the less-privileged in the society, but a sector for the highly talented. “What we are witnessing today is an endorsement from the highest

quarter that the creative industry is that area of our economy, which we have not really paid enough attention to,” he said.
For the Minister, the government’s target is to ensure that the creative industry contributes about 5% to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the next few years, from its present contribution of 1.34%.

In her remarks, Hanan said she is inspired by her passion to show the world another side of Nigeria through unique photographs.

“You should always stand for yourself and let your parents know what you want to do,” she said.
The wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, director generals of the National Tourism Development Board, Folarin Coker and the National Gallery of Arts, Abdullahi Sabo Muku, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga and some members of the diplomatic corps also witnessed the opening of the exhibition.