Name: Abuloye Tope
Abuloye Tope is the CEO of Buyavrika, a Nigeria-based startup that provides an online marketplace for Arts and art-inspired wear.
How did I become the CEO of Buyavrika?
Buyavrika is an online marketplace for Art and wears (a secured online platform where sellers and buyers of Art and wears can meet to trade). It came into existence in 2016 in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. I am the co-founder and currently the chief executive officer at Buyavrika.
Why was it formed and to what extent has it achieved its purpose?
Buyavrika was formed to promote the beautiful African culture to the world through Art and wear. We have so many artists who make beautiful Art but have problems getting a platform to market and showcase their works. So Buyavrika was formed to create a secure platform where artists and buyers of art and wears can meet to transact. We have been able to gain trust from international community to trade on our platform as a secure platform.
As an online marketplace for African art, what would you say have been the emerging issues and trends in the recent past?
So many artists have been unable to get trust from outside the country. This is due to the high rate of internet crimes and scams. The issue of payment has also been a great barrier in international transactions not to talk of logistics issues.
How big is your reach?
We work with logistics companies for both local and international pickups and delivery like DHL and NIPOST.
What is Buyavrika bringing to the online trading of African art that isn’t present at the moment?
This is the first of its kind in Africa for African art(a total online marketplace where artists can own their store at no cost).
What do you consider the biggest threat to your business?
I must say without thinking twice that the high rate of cyber fraud in Africa is alarming. And believe the government is trying to curb this, but I believe we need to try harder.
What kind of collaborations do you expect and need for Buyavrika to succeed?
Collaboration and endorsement from the Ministry of Art and culture, the African Union, and the African development bank will go a long way as these are institutions that can promote art and culture in Africa. As they say, “no one can tell your story better than you,” and what other way can we do this, but with art and wears.
Where are your plans moving forward?
We plan to have exhibitions in the major cities in African, where artists can showcase their works, and in the not too long future, have these works showcase in the United States and the United Kingdom.
What is the latest news from Buyavrika?
We are working on collaborating with selected primary and secondary schools to develop art in school children.
Who should contact your company, and why?
Buyavrika is for all, be you an Artist or a lover of art, young or old, African or non-African, as long as you love art and Africa’s beautiful culture.