September 26, 2022

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Firm promotes African art, launches charity auction

To commemorate Nelson Madela Internation Day, an art technology company, Artgidi.com, has launched a charity art auction to promote contemporary African art.

The charity auction, which is in its first year is themed, ‘Holding On’. It will hold between July 18 and 23, 2022, to honour the iconic South African freedom fighter, politician, opinion leader and role model, Nelson Mandela.

The PUNCH reports that Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, which is celebrated each year on Mandela’s birthday, July 18.

The first Mandela Day was held on July 18, 2010, after it was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009.

The theme connotes defending and upholding the quality legacies that Mandela lived, suffered and ultimately became globally renowned for.

Born on July 18, 1918, Mandela’s life epitomised selflessness, determination, and absolute commitment to the cause of freedom. He was the major factor that galvanised the world toward taking a stand against apartheid, ultimately bringing an end to it and desegregating the South African society, at least, constitutionally.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the auction, the Chief Executive Officer and curator of Artgidi, Rufus Ashiru, said the Nelson Mandela International Day is an important window for African artists, “not only to extol the virtues of the great Mandela but one that turns the attention of the entire globe to Africa by exposing beautiful works of the African artists to the international market”.

Ashiru stated that the auction is a rare opportunity for Africans and Nigerians especially “to appreciate the value inherent in collecting Artwork as it can act as a store of value and wealth for the future”.

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He noted that three auction houses sold over $1 billion on online auctions in 2022 and that Africa also contributed a sum of $13 billion to the global art market in 2018. According to verifiable sources, this figure is predicted to rise to $15 billion by 2023.

In the spirit of selflessness, the CEO stated that part of the proceeds of sales from the auction will be donated to FundaWazi Foundation, an organisation owned by the late Rosemary Simangele Nomthi Odukoya who was until her death, an educationist, life coach, writer, and senior pastor at the Fountain of Life Church and a South African.

FundaWazi Foundation provides child-friendly and relevant resources and tools for children and adults that will assist them to learn and know how to address and control social challenges affecting children with a particular emphasis on child abuse.

Participating artists are to donate a minimum of 5% for each of the work submitted for the auction.

The auction will feature works of artists of different cadres including iconic artists such as Dr Kunle Filani, Tola Wewe, Jossy Ajiboye, Mufu Onifade, and John Onabrakpeya.

Other versatile artists who will be featured are Adubi-mydaz Makinde, Gbenga Ajiboye, Oladejo Akande, Olushola Obayan, Olubunmi Oyesanya-Ayaoge, Ogochukwu Ejiofor, Aina Felix, Achike Anayo, Ifedilichukwu Chibuike amongst several others.

Artgidi, which boasts over 260 registered artists of African origin both at home and in the diaspora, was founded by Rufus Ashiru, a veteran multidisciplinary artist, art critic and ‘artpreneur’, and Tayo Olatimehin, who is the Chief Technology Officer of the company.

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When asked if the platform is open to Africans alone, Ashiru explained that it is a global platform “that embraces creatives from all works of life but is majorly focused on promoting Contemporary African Arts and giving African Artists visibility in the international market”.

With Artworks available as original and limited editions at the auction, he added that the best of contemporary African art will also be on display, and it is one of the best times to source African art.