Why I Dumped Female-Dominated Vocation For Arts– Omodara
It was first frustrating when 22-year-old Bakare Omodara who wanted to become a mechanic was denied the chance of engaging in her dream vocation by her parents who told her it was a men’s vocation.
But the burning desire to delve into a male-dominated field led the final year student of the Lagos State University to explore fine art as a substitute for being a mechanic.
“My lack of passion for female related skills prompted me into arts at first, as my parents declined. I can’t learn mechanics, because I would be the only female amongst them. I decided to choose arts, where it is more dominated by men. It was a strength for me to challenge myself,” she told THE WHISTLER in an interview.
“I told my parents, and they were convinced with my reasons, and the future that arts hold for me,” she explained.
Just like her peers in Badagry, a local government in Lagos State, the 22-year-old was supposed to learn a skill, but she didn’t want to choose like other young girls.
“In Badagry, it’s like a culture, that you should learn a vocational skill before you gain admission in the higher institution. I insisted I won’t learn tailoring, catering, or hairdressing or any female related skill,” she said.
The young female artist is also not willing to give up drawing career for the English Language which she is studying.
Today, the artist who said she is still in her ‘developing stage’ uses pencils and colours to illustrate issues.
Arts business in the Nigerian market may not be very rosy, but contemporary artists are already carving a niche for themselves.
Famous Nigerian-born artist like Njideka Akunyili Crosby sold her work ‘Bush Babes’ for $3.375m, but Omodara said she is not pushed by the millions she can make from art.
She currently charges around $360 (N150,000 at N416/USD) for a portrait.
“Some Nigerians don’t like art. They don’t understand the gravity and values. I’ve never regretted being a full-time artist, because art brings peace to me. I’m focused more on impacting art,” said Omodara.
The artist has featured in over twelve exhibitions like Manchester VR Exhibition 2020 and 2021 Viva Nigeria, Viva Africa Art Exhibition, Celebrating the 2022 New Year and Ushering the Winter Olympics: International Arts Exhibition which helped her find her spark.
As a female doing arts, Omodara who has thrown her weight finding clients online said she enjoys the work, because people “want to find out the female” in question.
“When People who do not like artwork see a female doing extraordinary arts, they are attracted to develop love for it,” she said.