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African artists embrace NFTs for better rewards


Nigerian artist Abdulrahman Yusuf used to sell his work online, but in May, he was introduced to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which he said presented “life-changing opportunities” and increased the number of coins being released. ‘he can sell at higher prices.

NFTs are a type of digital asset that uses the blockchain to record ownership of items such as pictures, videos, and other collectibles. Their skyrocketing popularity has baffled many, but the explosive growth shows no signs of slowing down.

And African artists like Yusuf are increasingly using NFTs, where the buyer has the status of official owner – a kind of digital bragging rights.

Yusuf, who lives in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, said he had sold 44 digital works on various NFT platforms since joining in May as “Arclight”.

“There are life changing opportunities on NFT platforms. People who have sold their works for $ 200 (US) wake up and see their works being sold for $ 40,000, “Yusuf, 24, told Reuters in his home studio.

The growing influence of NFTs took center stage at the annual four-day Art X Lagos Fair, West Africa’s first international art fair which concluded on Sunday.

Yusuf, whose work is partly inspired by pop culture and fashion, sold a piece at the fair but did not disclose the price. His most expensive coin before the fair cost 2.2 ethereum ($ 10,274), he said.

Art X Lagos founder Tokini Peterside said the 2021 fair involved a special sale of NFT in partnership with digital art market SuperRare, the first such collaboration with an African art fair.

The fair hosted NFT artists from all over Africa and its diaspora, some of whom have their works on SuperRare.

“NFTs now provide these artists with tremendous opportunities to market their work, secure their work on the blockchain, attach smart contracts to their work, which govern how work is sold and resold,” said Peterside. to Reuters.

This year’s Art X Lagos was the first full hybrid fair, combining an online and physical presence, she said. — Reuters

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