The internet and blockchain technology continues to be the most powerful tool of the 21st century. This assertion has once again been validated with a beautiful and soul-lifting occurrence in the Nigerian NFT space last week.
Adisa Olashile, a phone photographer and a corps member serving in Ibadan, Oyo, took random pictures of a certain ‘Baba Onilu’ – an old man skilled in drumming and the pictures went viral on social media platform – Twitter.
I always meet this man at the secretariat where we have our CDS, so I decided to see him smile more with my camera, I hope you all see the emotions in his smile-Adisa Olashile on Twitter
He minted two of the pictures as NFT and they got collected immediately on OpenSea for 0.3 eth each – around one million naira.
Adisa promised to give Baba Onilu 50 per cent of the proceeds and he did. Five hundred thousand naira with an additional 100 thousand obtained from donations was handed over to Baba who received the huge cash in shock and disbelief as he was also presented with a picture frame of his image.
Encomiums in large proportions have been pouring in for Adisa from Tweeps, media houses and other social platforms since he posted a footage of him presenting the cash to Baba.
He has gone ahead to mint the viral video known as ‘The drummer’s joy’ as NFT and he sold it for 1.1eth on OpenSea.
Meanwhile, on another side of West Africa, Ghana, another NFT ‘madness’ occurred over the weekend as popular Ghanaian pallbearer – Benjamin Aidoo sold his viral coffin dance as NFT for over $1 million.
Aidoo’s dancing pallbearing group went viral in 2020 after their videos were turned into memes during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 7, the video meme was minted and on April 9, the coffin dance NFT was sold for 372 eth which is equivalent to the sum of $1.046 million. The amount places the meme among some of the most valuable NFTs to have crossed the million-dollar mark worldwide.
According to an announcement made by Benjamin Aidoo on Twitter on Saturday, the NFT was auctioned to 3F Music after an intense bidding session. The pallbearers have donated 25%($250,000) of the proceeds from the auction to Ukrainian charities to help ameliorate the hardship brought about by the ongoing war with Russia.
3F Music is reputed for purchasing meme-inspired NFTs. In March, it purchased a side-eyeing Chloe NFT for $74K. 3F also acquired NFT versions of memes based on Disaster Girl, The Overly Attached Girlfriend, and the two Creepy Chans last year.
NFT on the rise in Africa
Between 2020 and 2021, Africa had the fastest cryptocurrency adoption rate in the world at 1200 percent. The growth happened despite government restrictions in several African countries like Nigeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Benin Republic and some others.
In the same vein, NFT adoption is now gaining traction on the continent. Although it is not yet comparable to the North American, European and Asian markets, data from Finder hints at Nigeria and South Africa as the two leaders on the continent in terms of adoption.
Some of the exciting NFT projects that have emerged from the continent include NFTfi, AJE: The Afriverse and Ubuntuland. Africa has also churned out a significant number of successful NFT artists who sell their artwork online, many of them can be found on africancrypto.com’s NFT Directory.
One of the reasons why Africans are now dancing more than ever in the NFT party is that creator, consumers and investors can claim ownership, access new markets, put out content, purchase and own assets from all over the world without having to follow conventional routes which are riddled with all sorts of obstacles.
A predominant reason which we must also not shy away from is the economic and financial opportunities NFT as a concept offers. Many young Africans have made substantial returns just by minting and listing their artworks which on a normal day wouldn’t rake in more than a pittance in the mainstream art market. A quintessential example is the Adisa Olashile and Baba Onilu pictures sale as NFT.
Digital art is actually the most common use case for NFTs and in Africa, we have no shortage of talent for this. It is only proper to declare Africa as a region where top-notch creativity is coming in contact with technology and both are having a life-changing conversation.
African artists and the governments can only benefit from this revolutionary art economy. Artists and even ordinary people are coming to realize the enormous potential inherent in the concept of NFT.
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