As part of efforts to raise awareness on the issue of Abandoned, Lost or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gears, we launched a craft contest to mark this year’s World Environment Day. The contest which recorded tremendous success got over forty entries from contestants who made different kinds of items majorly from cast nets. After a rigorous process, the contenders were narrowed down to a sizable number by our competent judges with the top three going home with cash prizes. Here are the profiles of contenders who stood out, as well as the crafts they made.
Peters Oluwatosin is a proud mother of four whom apart from being a computer operator, is also a lover of everything hand made. Based in Lagos State, Oluwatosin was one of the very enthusiastic trainees who came for our craft workshop in Badagry. Being from a a community where most people are predominantly fishers, she is regularly exposed to casually disposed nets mostly used as sponges for bathing or washing and never thought anything good could be gotten from it. During the workshop, She proved herself a genius and even served as a tutor for some of the participants. Hearing about the contest, she made a school and lunch bag for kids with detailed finishing and it earned her the bragging right as the 1st prize winner.
Apart from the contest, she has also made other items such as foot mats and slippers. Oluwtosin has been going round schools in her community, teaching kids how to create from fishing nets and hopes that with time, she will be able to pass the knowledge to as many people as possible who would perhaps turn it into a source of livelihood. When next you see a child with a beautiful lunch or school bag, look closely, it may just be a cast net creatively repurposed.
Lawrence Alban is a graduate of Fine Arts Education, under Curriculum and Teaching from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State who specializes in painting with biros. He has been into the arts for about six years now. He got to know about the craft contest through a friend. Thinking of what to make with a fish net for the very first time, he decided to make a Halloween themed home décor. Using twines and sugar paper to compliment the fishing nets, Alban created an artwork which shows a spider spinning its web. Given the time constraint, Alban’s artwork was quite exceptional and stood out among the judges. He hopes to continue creating with cast nets as the contest has opened him up to a new form of artistic expression. He is the 2nd place winner
Bright Edet Just finished her secondary school last year and is Hoping to get admission into the University. She hails from Ibeno Local Government are of Akwa Ibom State and was among the trainees engaged during the craft workshop by SOFER Initiative in Ibeno community. For the contest, she made a basket, a hat as well as a little bag. Bright says she was inspired by the people who came to teach her and hopes her newly acquired skill will take her places. She emerged as the 3rd place winner.
Maureen Effiong is a graduate of Environmental Protection and Resource Management from the University of Calabar, Cross River State. She hails from Ibeno Local government of Akwa Ibom State. Just like others, she
learned from a friend about a craft seminar that was to hold in her community and out of curiosity, she decided to attend. After the four days practice, Maureen did not relent. She kept on making crafts for personal use. When the craft contest opportunity presented itself, She went to the HubNet to source some nets, cleaned them up and made a very beautiful décor shaped like a half moon as well as earrings, and door blinds. According to her, all her siblings are also into craft making with cast nets and they are not stopping anytime soon. She emerged as one of the finalist.
Helen Edet is a 300 level Communication Arts undergraduate in the University of Uyo. She was one of the cast net craft trainees at Ibeno Local Government. Aside schooling, she is also a creative artist who uses beads to create necklaces, waist beads, hand accessories etc. According to her testament, when she was in the process of creating with cast nets, her friends were wondering what she was up to. It is no surprise that she left them as well as our judges in awe when she was done. She made an colourful decor which can be used at home or bars and restaurants for wall beautification. Helen is part of the finalist.
Gift Matthew Is a fashion designer from Ibeno Local Government Area who was also part of the workshop carried out by our team. Hoping to stand out amongst the other contestant, she got some nets from our HubNet in the community and made a hair net, basketball rim net as well as a handbag for the contest. She is hopes to move to a major city where she will fuse her fashion design expertise with her newly acquired craft skill to make items that will stand out. This way she will be making money for herself as well as help her community curb the menace of ghost gears. She is also among the finalist.
Oladipupo Kehinde: There is simply no doubt about Kehinde’s talent when it comes to craft as she had already proved herself during the craft training that held in Badagry. Taught how to make a foot mat on the first day, she turned up for the workshop on the second day with a hand bag, derived from some nets she took home. Kehinde who hails from Ijebu Ode, Ogun State entered the craft contest with yet another bag as well as a beautiful wig cap which earned her a comfortable spot amongst the top contenders. The wig can be worn by women who seek a little change from their regular fashion style. She said her hair styling training inspired the idea. Kehinde is also volunteer diver for SOFER Initiative
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