After my CDS (community development service) meeting on Friday, I was like what am I going home to do? As I was still contemplating on whether to go home or not, a visit to the arts and crafts village would be nice dropped on my mind. That’s how my Journey To The ARTS AND CRAFTS Village, Abuja started.
One thing I love so much about this art and craft village is the location. The Arts and Crafts village is located at the heartbeat of Abuja. Don’t just worry about how you will get there. The Arts and Crafts village is in the central business district (CBD). It is situated behind Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Centre, opposite ShopRite and also, across the road is Sheraton hotel.
Arts and Craft village is a very popular place in Abuja. It’s just N50 from Wuse market. I entered a taxi going to the national mosque since the art and craft village is along the same route. Immediately I saw the art and craft boldly written on a signboard I ask the driver to drop me.
The ARTS AND CRAFTS Village, Abuja
I was like OMG! what I saw from the entrance blew me away. I think the last time I saw the kind of art and craft buildings, was when I was in my village. The village was built with clay and thatched roofs. If you have been to Benue state, you will understand better. Everything was fascinating and natural.
There are so many things to see and buy there; all the shops are selling locally made products. There are monuments, beads, Ankara clothing, calabash, wooden sculptures like elephant etc. jewellery, paints, leather works, textile and much more.
Initially, I thought they bought almost all the Crafts not until I saw one baba that specializes in making local guitars. I told him I will come back to interview him. Don’t worry you will see the video soon.
Many of the artists there are make a lot of money from the handicrafts. It’s now they occupation. Although some of the crafts were not produced there. According to one of the shop owners, they bought some of the crafts from Kano and other local markets within Nigeria.
Madiba Antiques Restaurant
There is an open space for any event at the art and craft village. There is also a restaurant called Madiba Antique restaurant. This restaurant was named after South Africa freedom fighter, late nelson Madiba Mandela. The restaurant exterior and the decor blend together with African tradition.
The foods are mainly African dishes; they have fresh and undiluted palm wine. There is free internet browsing (Wi-Fi) courtesy ntel.
I observed one thing, due to the high influence of tourist to the Arts and Craft Village, most of the arts and crafts are costly. Most of the people that patronize the market are foreigners.
There are gallant security men there, so your safety is guaranteed. The traders are friendly and hospitable, they are ready to interact with anyone. They can allow visitors to take pictures. According to one of the traders, she told me ever since she started selling her crafts there; she has never encountered any challenge. There are adequate power supply and maximum security. The market is open 7days a week. Opening time is 8 am while closing time is 6 pm.
Nigeria is truly blessed with a lot of Arts and Crafts but unfortunately, most people that patronize this market are foreigners. I would advise all Nigerians to look inward, let us patronize our own local products. For arts and craft lovers, looking for souvenirs, a visit to the arts and craft village would convince you.
To all those that are living or visiting Abuja, your trip is incomplete without a visit to the Arts and Crafts village.
If you have been to any Arts and Crafts centre and you want to share your experience please contact us or email it via [email protected]