Talent and dedication, fueled by hunger and the struggle to make ends meet, are familiar traits of the tens of artisans that have set up shop at the Craft Market. Brimming with people of varying artistic abilities paired with poor English, this Lekki market is a unique destination worth a visit for any art enthusiast.
The craft is diverse; ranging from magnificent oil paintings to pretty hand-woven baskets. There’s hardly a litter and the craftspeople clean up their mess quickly. Not unexpected of any market, there’s also a lot of noise, the familiar clatter of tools and price haggling. As I frequently heard from my conversations though, there’s a lot of frustration here, as these creative people are selling off their art to put food on the table.
Bayo — 34 years old in May — paces around making finishing touches to his oil painting as I approach his stall. Initially disappointed my money wouldn’t be going into his pockets, he lightens up as I explain that I’m interviewing him. He laments about his life as a painter; “They take my painting and put in the big art galleries, and sell ten times the price. But no other person to buy here, and I have to eat”.
I’ve never been to Lekki Craft Market, lol. My one-time girlfriend needed some motivation to write an article about the place so I wrote this intro to give her a push. I need your vote…