For Oronto……CORA (Honouring the memory of Oronto Douglas)


The President’s point-man in the relationship between Abuja and Nigerian Culture Community, Oronto Douglas, has passed on.

The CORA commiserates with his immediate and extended family, relatives and the Presidency on the passing of the fine, productive man, Oronto Douglas.

His ideas may not always end up in proper implementation, but there is no doubt there was a strong will.

CORA wishes that the bureaucratic organs of management of culture propagation were strengthened in the process of Bringing Back The Book, Funding Nollywood etc.

If we had a proactive National Library Commission; a visible, more goal-oriented National Book Development Council, and a Ministry that pays more attention to programming of Arts all over the country than willing to sell Culture prime property to a Middle Eastern Mall developer, Oronto Douglas’ memory would have been greatly honoured.

The lessons of Mr Douglas’ intervention in the affairs of the Culture sector, remind us of the need for the national political leadership, especially the Presidency, to pay greater attention to the role of Arts and Culture sector in the betterment of the economy.

It is not enough to proclaim at all times presidential “love” for Culture; the right Policy environment, and necessary “productive” and well-staffed institutions must be created to drive the vision and ensure proper, effective implementation.

Whereas the creative industry has always come up in governmental talks about diversifying the economy, and especially in the recent rebasing of the economy, there has been no visible, formalised move to mainstream the sector and its several hundred thousands of practitioners into the national economic and development plans.

As we celebrate the life, and contribution of Oronto Douglas to the advancement of interest of the Creative Industry sector, we urge government at all levels to go beyond ‘tokenist’ expression of ‘support’, and ensure sustainable development of the sector through right visions and actions.

May the gentle soul of Oronto Douglas find its deserved rest with his creator.
Jahman O. Anikulapo
Prog. Chair,
Committee for Relevant Art, CORA

Toyin Akinosho,
Committee for Relevant Art, CORA