Animators get Creative Enterprise grant

By Content Nigeria reporter
July 22, 2022

Some of the grant winners with Mbuotidem Johnson (far right)

Nigerian cartoon studio Basement Animation and the British Council have awarded £2,000 (US$2,390) grants to each of the 10 animation entrepreneurs who took part in the Creative Enterprise Support Programme (CESP) that was held from January to July this year.

The CESP for Animation was delivered by Basement Animation and UK-based Kate O’Connor Consulting. The grants are aimed at helping the creatives to fund their animation businesses.

The grant recipients are Oghenefejiro Itimi (Iruo Animation Studio), Olukayode Aliyu (Kod3d Studios), Lorver Daniel (Trident Media), Gabriella Opara (Echiche Animation School), Somtochukwu Onubogu (Schucks Media), Samuel Gbadebo (G-d Streamz Studio), Matthew Isikhuemen (The Albastic), Oluwaseyi Fajimi (Folktail Studios), Abdulmumin Muslim Idris (Ocean Tide Studios) and Peace Toba Olatunji (Dopay Studio).

Out of the 60 CESP participants who got into the two-week intensive animation business training programme, 30 were selected into the mentorship and coaching stage where they worked in six groups of five to create short films on the theme Body & Soul.

The top 10 participants were selected during the CESP live animation pitch and showcase event that took place at the Basement Animation studios in Lagos, where the six films were showcased.

The animated films they worked on are Finding Jomijo, Soul Beats, Flight Plans, Imole (meaning ‘light’), Against the Wind and The Journey to Paradise.

“It’s been a very long journey and I’m grateful for this opportunity to be part of the stories of these amazing 60 participants, down to the 30 participants,” said Mbuotidem Johnson, CEO of Basement Animation.

“It’s just been an amazing thing. I remember when most of them came into the studio to record their testimonies, their eyes were watery. Hearing how much work they put in and just seeing the change we desired from the beginning of the programme was really interesting.

“We didn’t have the same opportunity, starting our studio, but being part of that story of our creatives is a very good thing and we are proud to be part of it. Congrats to everyone who put in so much work.”

O’Connor, executive chair and director of Animation UK, added: “This programme was the highlight of my year. It’s been uplifting and inspiring. The animation industry in Nigeria is going to be so ready and will burst through on the international scene.

“We are sure the participants will take this sector to the next stage of growth. You are phenomenal and I’m sure you are going to create sustainable businesses.”

As well as O’Connor, the jury members were Brenda Fashugba, head of Arts Nigeria and regional lead for SSA creative economy at the British Council Nigeria; Helen Brunsdon, director of the British Animation Awards; and Andy Wyatt of UK-based Animation Associates.

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