Art, they say, is a part of life that plays a whole number of roles and executes a range of functions. The history of art in Nigeria is interesting. The 15th century was the beginning of great explosion of the work of art with the carving of the famous figurine. The figurine became popular and placed the Benin Kingdom into the world of arts. Other ancient civilizations also came forth with their different art forms which included but not limited to painting, carving, sculpture and poetry. The 19th century also saw the prominence of arts from the Nok, Benin, Igbo Ukwu, Owo, Esie and Ife artworks. Today, these artworks energize Nigerian creatives to produce works within obvious traditions and practices.
This has documented the history of Nigeria with art as that unifying factor that sells the country to the rest of the world. No doubt, Nigeria is rich. Not just the land, Nigeria, but also the people. Nigerians are super talented individuals with great creative skills and thinking ability. Being the giant of Africa is not just a gain saying but an accolade that’s worth it. Though the art of ceramics and pottery making itself is older than the nation Nigeria. Remember Nok Arts, Igbo- Ukwu arts, Ife Bronze heads, sculptures were the art works that put Nigeria on the art map of the world.
Benue state, being a land full of immense opportunities and possibilities also possesses immense tourism potentials in which one of the most exciting places to visit is DAJO POTTERY LIMITED. A privately-owned pottery, located at Dajo Close, Makurdi-Gboko Road, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. The pottery has made thousands of unique potteries for local and international tourists who fancy owning a fascinating pottery. The pots come in various sizes and designs and made under various conditions to preserve its uniqueness and peculiarity wherever the local work of art is taken to in the world. The work of art there is amazing and indeed they’ve justified the saying “being creative is not a hobby, It’s a way of life”. The level of creativity coupled with the mind-blowing innovations displayed here is outstanding. No wonder this has earned the company a lot of international recognition and awards in and outside the country and has put the company on a pedestal in the ceramics and pottery making business.
The Dajo pottery being an international, multi-award winning ceramics industry in Nigeria, is the first ever to produce in commercial quantities marble ceramic wares in the country and first in Africa to attain the digital ceramic technology. It has put the nation on the map with their unique designs and share will of its owner. The pottery was conceived in 1984 by the master potter and an international ceramic icon, Mr. Levi O’bem Yakubu. a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University and a former Ceramics Lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic formerly known as Murtala College of science and technology then. He resigned his lecturing job to focus on filling the gap for the industry based on the policy pronouncement of restriction or banning of importation of table ware ceramics in the country in 1984.
The pottery has grown from the initial staff of ten to fifty-two, thereby creating job opportunities for the immediate community as well as encouraging art lovers. Over time, this tourist site has attracted many from all over the world. Since its inception, the pottery has won some of the most prestigious award in ceramics and pottery. This include the three consecutive year’s international ceramics excellence award in China. For 30 years, the Dajo pottery also provides a training pro-bono for university students in the industrial training scheme to encourage the future generation of pottery artist and enthusiast. Mr. Dajo emphasized the essence of giving great practical hands-on training for the university students.
Even with all of these achievements, the pottery faces an enormous challenge of funding. On the visit by experiencing naija team, the structures looks worn and finished products were covered with dust. An interesting fact about Dajo pottery is that clay needed for production is sourced from the vast land on which it is located and the gorge created from digging the clay was eventually turned into a fish pond creating another source of income. For Mr. Dajo, access to loans and government recognition will go a long way in the survival of the pottery. He stated that the demand for Nigerian pottery especially Dajo pottery brand is very wide.
Dajo Pottery combines the best of the pottery tradition of several generations with contemporary techniques with the integration of the most current technology of the industry to create works of spectacular and unique appeal that is comfortable with today’s lifestyle. The pottery also ensures a happy combination of aesthetic utility in its wide range of products for its varied clientele. Products produced at Dajo pottery include but not limited to Flower Vases, Kitchenware, Lamp stands, Digital murals (photo tiles) and African Art Icons.
Dajo pottery is definitely a place to be, especially for the art lovers and all who appreciate creativity. Want to know more about other tourism sites and tourism potentials of Benue State? Feel free to contact us now, as we take you through several experiences in Nigeria. Do follow us on our pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. We promise to give you the best and accurate information about Nigeria and Nigerians.