The African Creatives Using NFTs to Sell Art

September 10, 2022

With the growing use of blockchain technology, African artists are harnessing its benefits to create communities of sellers and boost their creations in a global marketplace.

By Patrick Nelle, bird Story Agency

It’s an ordinary day on the web for a diverse group of African creatives; or at least, as ordinary a day as it has been since they found a new and exciting way to advance their careers.

“Ordinary” now involves a daily gathering on Twitter Space for a long chat. The creatives mostly come from Nigeria (Lagos, Enugu, Lekki, Port-Harcourt, and other cities), but they rarely, if ever, see one another. Photographers, painters, animators… just six months ago they didn’t even know of each other’s existence. Yet, today, they have a strong community, working together to build names and sell their art on NFT marketplaces, like OpenSea, Tezos, Foundation, and others.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. It’s a digital asset based on blockchain technology (the same that is used for cryptocurrencies), that includes the name of the owner of the asset, in the blockchain. This allows the platform on which the NFT was created to keep track of who is holding it or trading it – a viable solution for artists who lack a marketplace to create financial value from the artwork they produce.

“It helps artists to secure their work and control their revenue. He has access to the international market from where he is – in a country like Cameroon, for example. He will be able to get his royalty paid to him in perpetuity. Anytime the piece of art is resold, the artist will have an opportunity to earn a royalty”, explained Frisco D’Anconia a.k.a Kofi Akosah, the president of Africa Blockchain University, an organisation which promotes blockchain technology adoption across Africa.

To leverage NFT opportunities, African artists are building communities to provide mutual support and promote each other. An example is the Art Support System, which came about when 24-year-old Nigerian photographer “1Jubril” saw an opportunity to promote African artists and artwork on NFT marketplaces.

“Art support system is a community of artists-turned-friends, built out of genuine vibes and love to give artists the support within the blockchain ecosystem,” he said.


RELATED: Why’re You Into NFTs? — We Asked 5 Black Artists


“The recipe is quite simple, it consists in engaging each other with art posts on social media by sharing, liking and commenting. It also consists in experience-sharing, he further explained. The ultimate vision is to promote genuine African art and to champion African values on the road to becoming a force on the global stage, making it together without leaving anyone out,” 1Jubril explained.

1Jubril joined the NFT space on February 1.

“Like anyone, I didn’t know anybody”, he recalled.

He followed a few people and joined spaces hosted by other artists. While he never got to meet them in person, he was inspired to create a group focusing on the opportunities for NFT art. From conversation to conversation, the space and the number of participants started to grow.

“There’s been massive support. We’ve been expanding our reach. On Twitter, you can only have 75 people in the group. I periodically remove inactive people. So the group today is not the initial 75,” he said via Twitter messaging.

The community attracted many young artists and has already been transformative for their careers. Temi OG, a pencil artist based in Nigeria, is among the group of emerging artists.

“I got into the NFT community in February this year, through a friend on Instagram. I thought that NFT was only for digital artists, not for traditional artists like myself”, she recalled.

She had tried it before but didn’t really understand anything about it, she confessed. After being introduced to the NFT Twitter community, she started to connect with people and quickly learned how to navigate the NFT universe.

“It actually took me two months to make my first sale, which was an amazing feeling,” she remembered.

The NFT appeal is also striking a chord in people who initially don’t have an artistic background. Based in Port Harcourt, Stanley Ebonine designates himself an “entrepreneur who sees problems as an opportunity to provide solutions”.

Known on Twitter as Odogwu Stanley, Ebonine initiated the CruzMetaNft project. His goal is to demystify NFTs in Africa and help to boost African arts and culture, both physically and digitally – including in the Metaverse.

“I am neither an artist nor a photographer”, said the 29-year-old who as of 2019 was still running the maritime business company founded by his father in Port-Harcourt.

“My vision is to create a next-generation service through an NFT Blockchain to give our community and the rest of the world an equal chance to see African culture like never before. We sincerely believe that our project can create a globally-accepted service in promoting African culture, and collaborate with talented African artist creators, innovators, blockchain and smart contract experts,” he further detailed.

The Art Support System community has been very supportive of the project, Ebonine said. Since starting his NFT journey, he has produced 15 NFT art pieces, himself. He is also a collector and has so far acquired 6 NFT artworks from African artists.

According to 1Jubril, Art Support System now has over 250 members. As Twitter allows only 75 people per group, he is turning to other apps to scale the community. That is important as there is growing interest from Ghana and South Africa, as well as from the rest of the continent.


READ ALSO: He Donated $500K+ Worth of ETH to Support an Art and Dance Academy. How Did He Do It and Why?


Cover image by Uzunov Rostislav on Pexels

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

May 18, 2021

More than ever, lending companies and other credit facilities are operating in Nigeria. And in many ways, they’ve changed how accessible loans are. A number of them operate mostly online; offer collateral-free loans; approve and disburse the funds within minutes. So I thought to talk to some Nigerians about how they use these credit facilities. […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

More from Creators

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X