Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo
Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo studied Theatre Arts, specializing in directing, dramatic theories and criticisms at the University of Ibadan (1983 -86). He has been an arts and culture journalist for over two decades, writing mostly on the performing arts, visual arts, literature and cultural affairs. He worked as the Arts and Media Editor of The Guardian (Daily) between 1992 and 2003. He is currently the Editor of The Guardian on Sunday.
He also operates as a Culture Activist and Programmer with input into some notable ideas and projects (private and public) that have helped define the character as well as shape the development of Nigeria’s arts and culture scene. He has worked extensively on the cultural policy of Nigeria since1988, when the first workshop towards its implementation was held. Subsequently, the various strategic meetings and conferences that have been held towards reviewing the Policy to meet up with the demands of modern society have benefited from his intervention, especially focusing on the economic context of culture production. He has served in various UNESCO committees, particularly the series held under the aegis of the World Decade for Culture and Development (1988-1997). He served in the Culture Sub-Committee of the Tony Blair Commission for Africa.
The past five years have seen him working more in the area of Creative Industries in the context of contemporary national economy. He has participated in various seminars, conferences and workshops on the creative industry. He was one of the resource persons towards the establishment of the Creative Industries of Nigeria, designed to serve as a platform for mapping and harnessing the economic potentials of the culture producing communities. He was also a resource person at the “Untapped Resources: Culture in Economy” conference that was organized and promoted by the Ford Foundation.
In 1999, he was invited by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments to revive the Museum Society Group – a body set up to ensure greater participation of the community in the affairs of the Museum. For this mission, he led the Prime Culture Advocacy group in Nigeria, the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), (winner of the Prince Claus Award, 2006), to launch the yearly Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF), on the premises of the National Museum Lagos. The motivating objective was to deploy the instrumentality of the Creative sector to draw a greater number of Lagos residents to the compound of the National Museum in the Central Business District of Lagos. The LABAF ran for eight years in the premises of the Lagos Museum, before it had to be relocated to the National Theatre due to bureaucratic bottlenecks in the Museum which were negatively affecting the smooth operation of the Book and Art Festival.