It was a beehive of activities last Sunday when merry goers and shoppers thronged to the Tobix Recreational Park and Garden, Abuja, for the 8th edition of the Inside Track Bazaar.
Creativity, passion, ingenuity, art, colours embellished the products on display, which the enthusiastic crowd willingly devoured. The entrepreneurs came from far and near, ready to satisfy the hunger.
The event was a platform for small and medium scale entrepreneurs to showcase their wares including clothing, arts and crafts and cuisine among others.
Araceli Aipoh, who started it all, spoke about what motivated her. “I wanted a platform for artists in Abuja to sell and exhibit their products. Many of them are home based but have limited spaces and channels through which they can sell their wares. This is what prompted me to start off the bazaar to fill this gap.”
Beyond being a platform to buy and sell, it was also an opportunity to enlighten guests on some of the techniques and history behind works displayed.
For Zoza Ocha, creator of the Asah Bara brand, the uniqueness of the fiesta makes it a natural conversation starter and therefore, educating people about her product was very easy.
She said, “The people came with their questions about what I did and I explained it to them as much as I could. It created the opportunity to make sales and network as well as see and appreciate what other people are doing.”
While it brought together people with different and in some cases, similar artistic expressions, the event also served as a forum to boost Nigeria’s tourism exploits.
There were Africans from other parts of the continent, Europeans, Americans and Asians, who displayed their products, inquired, patronised and placed orders.
Ocha who was participating at the bazaar for the third time, described it as “an equal play on balance for buyers and sellers.”
She said, “With this mix of people from all over the world purchasing our products, this means taking them beyond the shores of Nigeria and publicising them to other parts of the world.”
Her desire is that more Nigerians created such opportunities for Nigerians to explore rather than leave it to foreigners alone who have shown an understanding and appreciation for our cultural and art products.
Aisha Inuwa who was attending such a bazaar hosted in Abuja for the first time, said, “I am very impressed by the number of handmade products on display here. I am also very happy to see that the majority of them are made in Nigeria.
“If more people can look inwards at their God-given talents and harness them this way, the ripple effect will definitely be a good economic boost not just for them but for the country.”
A little disappointed that most of the patrons were from the expatriate community, she encouraged more Nigerians to indulge themselves with such products rather than in imported goods.