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WIPO Workshop Sparks Excitement for Creative Intellectual Property Story-telling 

June 14, 2023

From June 14 – 16, 2023, the WIPO Nigeria Office, in collaboration with the Art for Humanity Foundation, and Sony Nigeria hosted a three-day workshop at the United Nations House, Abuja. The workshop focused on providing training and mentorship to over a dozen talented female photographers and videographers, while yet upskilling them to support their documentation and development of intellectual property (IP) stories.

The training, which was centered on the art of effective IP-based storytelling related to female creatives, inventors, and female business owners, commenced with inspiring opening remarks from Mr. Steve Thom, Director, Office of the Deputy Director General, who warmly welcomed the female creatives and provided a brief overview of WIPO's organizational objectives. Mr. Osaze Efe, CEO of the Art for Humanity Foundation, also provided a warm welcome to the participants.

Mr. Edward Harris, Senior Communications Officer, WIPO, captivated participants with a presentation on IP storytelling, offering valuable insights into IP and WIPO's communication strategy. Ms. Aisha Augie-Kuta, a Nigerian renowned photographer, emphasized the significance of developing emotional intelligence and fostering the right mental mindset for creative documentation. Speakers from WIPO’s News and Media Division, Ms. Ivy Kigundu Toure and Mr. Lofti Oulebsir delved into the art of sourcing, developing, and documenting noteworthy IP stories, while Ms. Victoria Onyeagbako and Ms. Juliana Oboh-Joseph from the WIPO Nigeria Office addressed the understanding of IP rights for visual creatives.

For several participants, such as Ms. Fatima Yusuf, who were learning about WIPO and IP for the first time, this workshop was an eye-opening experience. According to Ms. Yusuf, “the 3-day workshop was an eye-opener. Prior to this, I had no knowledge of WIPO, but attending this workshop [has given] me a broad view of what WIPO stands for and has sharpened my knowledge in IP…”

Insights on the art of engaging storytelling were shared by Ms. Zoza Icha, Founder of Tori Town, inspiring participants like Ms. Lucy Ladidi Elukpo-Ateko, who described the training as an "awesome experience" that opened her up to discovering more of her potential. She added, "As I go into the field, I go with a renewed mind and with more enlightenment on how to creatively tell my story."

The practical aspect of the workshop was enriched by the engagement of the Sony Nigeria team, led by Ms. Bukola Oloyede, the Country Manager of Sony Nigeria. Participants received guidance on optimizing the Sony camera to capture outstanding pictures and videos in a session facilitated by Mr. Adebayo Rotilu. Their practice efforts resulted in the production of a compelling mini-documentary. Sony has offered participants the opportunity to also enter their documentaries into the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards as well as join the female community and Alpha Creators Network on the Alpha Universe.

Mr. Osaze, CEO of the Art for Humanity Foundation, reaffirmed the Foundation’s commitment to empowering women to tell stories of resilience and success. According to him, "empowering women to tell stories of women is one of [the] primary focus [areas of] Art for Humanity Foundation”, who believe that “…stories of women's resilience and success are not told enough to inspire public actions of inclusion and sustainable development."

The impact of the workshop sessions on the participants was clearly reflected in the enthusiasm, determination and eagerness of participants to immediately step out and document impactful IP stories from the field. According to Ms. Yusuf, “I must say that with the knowledge I garnered from the workshop, I am excited and more equipped to go into the field to document women's stories worth telling." For Ms. Ekene May, "my experience has been, to say the very least, grand. I honestly can't wait to document IP-worthy stories that have made and are making an impact in Nigeria. I also look forward to the positive change that this storytelling process would bring." Maureen Ikoko similarly notes a renewed sense of purpose fueled by her experiences. "My mission now — and it won't be easy — is to go overboard and give full rein to telling the stories of creative/innovative women and girls, who are using their brain power to make something out of nothing. My goal is to use their stories as tools to shape mindsets and world-views, as well as add value to their works…”. In a similar vein, Ms. Khadijah Temitope Adebayo, noted: “through the lens of my camera, my goal is to create a body of work that not only informs and educates but also inspires action".

Following this transformative training, the WIPO Nigeria Office is confident that these women are now equipped to venture into the field and capture IP stories of other women. We are indeed excited about the stories that will emerge from this project, and extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the partners, participants, and contributors for making this workshop an incredible success. Together, we have created a platform to amplify the voices and celebrate the creative contributions of women through stories captured and told by women.