Akwa Ibom Coat of Arms: As part of activities to mark the 33rd anniversary of Akwa Ibom State creation, Governor Udom Emmanuel unveiled the state official logo, emblem, flag and anthem.
The government had called for entries for the official symbols’ contest.
In a pool of hundreds of entries, winners were picked by a panel of experts and professionals in the creative arts field.
Nsikak John’s design was picked as the state flag, Dr. Iberedem Iwok’s attempt was adopted as the state official anthem, and Mbuotidem ‘Krox’ Ukpe won in the official coat of arm category. Respective winners smiled to the bank with One Million Naira each.
Speaking at the unveiling of the symbols at the banquet hall of the government house, Governor Emmanuel applauded the about 900 contestants who participated in the contest.
“We have made history that it was in our time that this was done. This may have been long overdue but its Gods time. We must inculcate in our generation that element of boldness,” Emmanuel added.
‘Krox’, the man behind the design of the coat of arms, offered insight into his ideas and dreams in an exclusive session with our reporter.
A young man from Utu Abak in Abak Local Government Area of the state, Mbuotidem Friday Ukpe aka Krox is a Marine Engineering graduate of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN).
He said he would have loved to practice fully, what he studied in tertiary institution, however, suppressing his natural love for arts has been impossible.
He has been into art works right from childhood, he revealed: “I love arts. It all started when I was a kid, I would sketch anything that comes to my mind. I had a little bit of access to internet, I would do sketching. The internet gave me a platform to sell my works -about five of them- via Paypal. I would put designs on shirts, showcase it, if anyone buys it, I get my percentage. That was around 2004 and 2005.”
A gold fish, they say, has no hiding place. Krox’s raw talent was not unnoticed. He was encouraged and nurtured.
In Pastor Anietie Ukpe – a journalist of no mean repute – Krox had a formidable pillar. Pastor Ukpe is Krox’s senior cousin. He is currently the Director General, Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC). He coached and advised Krox on the next step in his career.
“Pastor Anietie Ukpe advised me to pursue my dreams. He advised me to undergo mentorship under my elder brother, Scubi. He was a well known name in Cross River State. Most of the photography works in Cross River State when the state was undergoing rebranding by former Governor Donald Duke were done by him. I watched him do a lot stuffs, I learned so much from him,” he revealed.
Apart from going into the record books as designer of Akwa Ibom Coat of Arms, Krox has been behind the branding of prominent state-sponsored festivals like: Orange September, Usoro Uso, Ukap’isua and Ibom Christmas Festival.
He has also worked with prominent private brands in the country.
Krox reminisced on his humble beginnings, saying his struggles made him more resolute in the pursuit of his dream.
“Everyone likes the end story but the struggle was there. There was a time I never had a laptop – I used to use my uncle’s laptop. There wasn’t much of internet or tutorials. I learned most things the hard way,” he recalled.
He disclosed that he does not see his present status as the apex of his career: “I expect to grow more in what I do. I don’t see myself as the best, no. I expect others, especially the ones I have groomed over the years, to grow as well and surpass me.”
Ahead, Krox, while pushing his career, will also expand his training and mentorship of young persons in his field.
Still on mentorship, he said he strives to add value and respect to graphics works: “people tend to see it as cheap. They feel that, with as little as 3000 Naira, a graphics artist will work on a project. A good graphics laptop now goes for 450,000 to 500,000 Naira. Adobe yearly subscription is about 300,0
00 Naira. Other programmes are very costly. We have to appreciate the work done by graphics artists.”
Akwa Ibom to the world
Krox’s will try to further push the Akwa Ibom brand to the world.
His words: “We have not explored all the potentials that abound in this state. The crowned lion on top the coat of arms shows that Akwa Ibom is going to be the king in Nigeria. It’s futuristic. Pastor Paul Adefarasin came to Akwa Ibom the other day and said that he sees Akwa Ibom becoming the center of Nigeria. The world is seeing us more than we see ourselves. We have to key into this vision. As someone who is into branding, I have to promote the state beyond this clime.”
Breakdown of the coat of arms
He explained the significance of respective components of the coat of arms.
- The crowned lion represents courage, boldness, dignity and authority.
- The cross is a symbol of Christianity, Akwa Ibom’s dominant religion.
- Tusks represent the culture and regards Akwa Ibom has for royalties.
- Green grass represents the state’s arable land and good vegetation.
- Shield represents safety and security of Akwa Ibom.
- Oil rig represents the state’s rich heritage in oil and gas.
- Palm tree and sunrise represent the state’s God-given heritage.
- The blue colour with the fish and crab represent the state’s rich aquatic life and longest shoreline in the country.
- The manillas and cowries showcase Akwa Ibom people’s trustworthiness in financial management.
- The woven cord represents the unity and strong bond among Akwa Ibom people.
Crystal Express Newspaper