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Ganeeyah of KAFART – “I chose to become a creative because of the freedom it affords me”

Creatives based in Northern Nigeria are almost often overlooked for a number of reasons. And in 2021, it’s almost criminal that Nigerians don’t give them the same attention that they give those in the West and East.Ganeeyah Sani has comfortably proven time and again that Lagos isn’t the only place for Nigerian creatives to thrive. It’s only right that I went after her to famz. You know as e dey go nau.Let’s meet Ganeeyah Sani.

Hi. Can we meet you?

My name is Ganeeyah Sani, Curator and Founder of the Kaduna Fashion and Arts Exhibition (KAFART), and a fashion creative director. I founded KAFART in 2019 while I started creative directing during the lockdown.

Boss lady. Why did you take up a career in the creative industry, though?

I’ve had a passion for the arts and fashion for the longest time, but I didn’t know how to express my passion until recently. Then I founded the KAFART because I felt the Art and Fashion sectors needed a very strong presence in Kaduna State.I also started creative directing because it allowed me the freedom to bring to life my ideas. There are no limits in creativity and it allows you to carve your own unique niche.

Word. What are the challenges of being a creative in the North, where you’re based?

As a young creative, I have faced situations where I wasn’t taken seriously. This made me go back into my shell for a while because I felt so unsure of myself and my ideas. I have also not gotten support in the past because of that.

And yet you founded the first creative festival in Kaduna. You were born to do this, Ganeeyah.

I guess I was. (laughs).

How did you overcome these challenges, and how do you overcome the ones that have come after?

I overcome them by not relying on public validation when I’m planning a project and putting it out. This has built my confidence significantly and allowed me to grow steadily.

Awesome stuff. What’s the one thing you wish could change in the creative scene?

I wish there would be more collaborations between creatives from different aspects of the industry. This would allow the industry to grow harmoniously and increase in value as well.

And what are your hopes for your career as a creative?

I really don’t have much hopes, I’m trusting my journey and wherever it leads me.

Well, I can tell you that on behalf of myself, the parrots at Talku Talku, and everybody who likes good things, that we wish you a smooth journey to greatness.

Thank you very much.

Ganeeyah is doing amazing with KAFART. In under two years and with just one event, KAFART has become Kaduna’s most anticipated creative festival.This year, KAFART was scheduled to hold in March, but with the second wave of Covid-19 sweeping the nation, Ganeeyah and her team have postponed it.

But the platform is designed to be a yearly event that takes place in Kaduna. It’s an event about inclusivity, representation and innovation, with the aim of providing the right platform for the creative community in Northern Nigeria to expand, grow and develop to its full potential.Participants at KAFART also get volunteering and internship opportunities to grow and put their skills to good use.Meanwhile, Ganeeyah is growing her portfolio as a Creative Director. Her Instagram page is a beauty to behold and shows the kind of promise that I love to get behind as the ‘famzer’ that I am.See some of the photoshoots she’s directed below.

Keep up with Ganeeyah on Instagram and Twitter, and follow the KAFART Instagram to see pictures of more creatives in Kaduna that you can throw your support behind.

Chima Umeh-Saboyo

A half-baked Geologist and anime lover with a huge bias towards upcoming creatives and the start-up culture.

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