The founder, Nike Art Gallery, Mrs Nike Okundaye, popularly known as Mama Nike, said she changed the narratives of 3,000 Nigerian professional sex workers through artwork training in Italy.
Okundaye disclosed this on Thursday at the Destination Marketing Strategy in Cultural Tourism organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture in Abuja.
She said she had a passion for training the trainers’ programme because she aimed at using artwork to reduce poverty, unemployment and crimes in society.
“My love is to train and people. I trained should train other people. I was in Italy training Nigerian prostitutes, 5,000 of them. We used artwork to change 3,000 to become artists.
“These paintings you are seeing here are from the ones that started in 1995. A lot of those prostitutes are now engaged and they are no more prostitutes.
“I was born into art; I am a fifth generation artists from my family and the way they passed education to the kids in those days, you teach your child what you do.
“When I completed Primary Six and I did not have money to attend secondary school, the weaving of adire and the painting that I learnt from my father and mother are what I am doing today.
“I started this because of poverty, but from poverty, I was able to become an icon in the society,” she said.
In his remarks, the Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said he supported Nike Art Gallery to make it a destination market for Nigeria.
Runsewe described the arts and culture sector as public-private driven.