Creativity Unshackled [Merry at Agodi Prison]Posted on: December 22, 2018, by : EXPAR
“I never imagined it was possible to learn how to draw because I always saw the drawing. I thought it was something only a set of people could do but thank God for the EXPAR project, I can now give a face to my imaginations and perhaps one day, I will be able to do this professionally.”
Those were the words of Sola, aged 42 and serving a lifetime sentence at Agodi Prisons, Ibadan.
Sola is one out of 26 prisoners who have benefited from the EXPAR training so far and our outing at the prison on Wednesday, 19th December 2018 was to celebrate the joy of the season with them. It was also an opportunity to celebrate the milestones the EXPAR project has made in the past 6 months, how far we have come and what needs to be done to move the project forward.
The get-together which had in attendance Charles Adetola, Founder of the EXPAR project; Representatives from Splash FM including Mariam Gbadegbo popularly referred to as Mspyce the duchess, volunteers of the EXPAR project and officials of the prison including Mr. Toki and Mr. Daramola helped to reinforce the idea that gave birth to taking arts to inmates in Nigeria Prisons.
While addressing the inmates, Charles Adetola spoke about the challenges he had faced and urged them to take the training more seriously the coming year. “I expected that by now our works will be out there but be as it may, we have made tremendous progress with this project despite the challenges and I hope we can do better next year,” he said
Mspyce urged the inmates to look beyond their presentation and focus on the possibilities that tomorrow offers. The inmates expressed appreciation for the consistency of the training and shared how it has helped them with self-expression individually. They pleaded with the founder to ensure that the project is sustained and promised to give it their very best in the coming year. The event ended with prayers and distribution of refreshments for the inmates.
The EXPAR project which was launched 6 months ago stemmed from a need to address the issue of mental health of prisoners especially those serving long-term and life imprisonment sentence. And with the mission to develop a culture where inmates can use Arts effectively, as a tool to communicate and express their creative intelligence, experiences, and imaginations.
Kindly note that the inmate name and age used in this report is fictitious, but the content remains true.