Having taken a study on the uniqueness of each state in Nigeria, I can say that Plateau State, the tourism hub of Nigeria is naturally the unofficial Creative Capital of Nigeria.  

Unofficial in the sense that as it stands, both the government at the State and Federal Levels are yet to tap into the huge potentials that lie in that state.  From my series of study that saw me travelling to countries with great touristic elements  {historical, natural, aesthetic or synthetic} such as Turkey, Egypt, Ghana, Togo and Uganda, I can authoritatively say that the major problem in Nigeria is that of identification.

Nigerians hardly easily identify opportunities. Little wonder everyone joins the bandwagon the moment a particular opportunity has been identified like what we see in the music and entertainment industries today.  The perennial dependence on oil as Nigeria main source of revenue seems to have contributed to this trend.  For instance, today companies from Asia and their Farther Eastern Axis including China, Vietnam, Philippines among others are coming in to tap what has hitherto been unidentified by Nigerians.  European companies and of course companies from the Americas are making their ways to explore hitherto unidentified but potentially huge opportunities that exist in Nigeria.

The creative talents that abound in Jos Plateau state can place Nigeria as one of the most creative countries in the world vi-a-vis entertainment and artistry and thus earn it good revenue.  Nigerian artists, writers, models, designers, poets, actors and actresses are ranked in high esteem globally.  Chimamanda Adichie, Asha, Deola Sagoe, Oluchi Onwegba, Agbani Derago and many more others are global figures within the literary and entertainment circles.

Plateau State is admirable and alluringly enchanting.  Jos city will sure thrill any visitor who is visiting Plateau state for the first time.  The state exudes great natural and aesthetic splendor.  From the weather condition which fits into what obtains in most western countries to the way of life of the people; from the mesmerizing landscapes to the magnificent rocks that adorn most part of Plateau State, it is no gain-saying that the city is irresistibly one of the most beautiful cities in Nigeria.

Jos City reminds me of my childhood wishes.  I’d once told mother that I would like to own a house by a lake side in Jos city.  Around the dream house will be a neighbourhood garden where I would grow fruits and vegetables.  The dream house as I’d conceptualized it would host a big study and library, a gallery that will host collection of unique artifacts.  I wished to end it all in that city.  That was an innocent desire of a growing child that is yet to fade with time.

Mother objected though, citing culture as a strong influence.  In Igboland, it is seen as a taboo for a man to leave his father’s home to live in another city, die and be buried there. So, citing cultural influence, mother insisted I should think home more than I think about Jos.  Mum needed to remind me that I have a root that must not be forgotten.  My love for Plateau State dated years back when I had my first opportunity to visit Jos.  Mum wanted to subdue those unusual promptings, insisting that I must not toe the line of my great grandfather who as a great artist and brass smith spent the older phase of his life in reclusive crafting and meditation.

The love for that great city still lures me away.  The city is simply enticing and its beauty enigmatically captivating.  The environment, the topology and the weather condition of Plateau to me has a way it has favoured creativity.  Most creative minds like writers, poets, musicians and other artists are more creative in quieter and natural environments.  Jos fits into that environment. There is something mind-enriching about Jos City and the level of creativeness that are emanating from that city lends credence to this claim.  Jos City has produced more talented artists, sportsmen, musicians, poets and writers possibly more than every other city in Nigeria.

That brings to mind successful people in their different fields of endeavours that have their beginning from Jos, Plataue State.  People like the world class footballer, Mikel Obi and Desmond Elliot, an actor cum politician.  There are great poets and spoken-word adepts like Patience Andrew popularly called AP, Decipher, Jenny, Ruddapoet, Victor, David Onotu, Anchorman among many others. Writers like Hellon Habila and Keneng Rwangpam live in that city. Other world class artists and photographers include Anre Macaulay, Bwati, Joey and Tukura

The famous P-Square musical group has their root in Jos.  There are also world class musicians like Ice-Prince, Jeremiah Gyang, Dorcas Bentu; MI {Rapper}, Jesse Jaz {Rapper}.

Other talented and renowned singers like Dan Maraya,  Maggie Okoh, Gold Owen,  Mfong Abigail are talents that grace that great city.

Tony Elumelu, the ace banker and entrepreneur of international repute and Steve Gukas the media guru and Chief Executive Officer of WE FM are all offshoots of the creative magnificence of Plateau State.

When next you’re thinking about your foreign trip for holidaying, Jos can fill that craving with the mesmerizing talents and beauty that abound in that city.

By L. I Shedrack

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Plateau remains the undisputed creative/artistic capital of Nigeria

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