Visual Art

Influencing Socio-Economical Discuss with Contemporary Realism

Regina Ogwuche

Hyper realism paintings and sculpting create a new sense of reality that acts as a convincing illusion. Hence, it brings to the Artistic scene an embellishing, heightened sense of reality depicted on canvass or paper with acrylic paints, paint brushes, charcoal, to mention a few.
The finalized product of hyper realists often questions our perceptions of reality as it explores the limits of mankind’s conceptualization.
According to Lagos based, Nigerian Hyper realist, Ken Nwadiogbu, his Art is driven towards inspiring and creating change whilst depicting issues relating to African migration, inadequate governance, news and issues relating to Black people, as well as feminism.
Via: Pinterest
“When I began practicing Art, my inspiration came from issues relating to my peers and those around me. Now, I am inspired by recent happenings in the Society. The philosophy that drives my work is simple, I want to inspire and create change everywhere my work is presented. I don’t just want to make works for the sake of it, if you look closely at each piece, I am always trying to say something.
“I am always inspired by issues of those surrounding me and as well as recent happenings in the news. I conceptualize ideas for my work this way and then I pen down the idea and then I start to draw. It sounds really simple, but it is quite complicated, especially in the detailing of each work. It often takes hours just to achieve a particular detail; and, I must admit, I am always happy with the result.”
The 2019 winner of the Future Award Africa which celebrates young people between the ages of 18 to 31 that have made outstanding achievements during the year under consideration, also describes his type of Art as ‘Contemporary-realism’ considering how it is largely centred on the fusion of hyper-realism and contemporary Art, during an interview with
How would you describe your creative approach towards creating your Art pieces?
Well, I have always experimented with my work. I had no formal training whatsoever but regarding mixed media, I started experimenting a few years ago. I wanted and still want to create works that go beyond hyper-realism. I believe with mixed media, I can pass on my message further.
I describe my style of art as ‘Contemporary-realism ’ and it is largely centred on the fusion of hyper-realism and contemporary Art. It is a welcome deviation from the traditional hyper-realism movement. My work has since evolved from hyper-realism, as I infuse elements from contemporary art in to my work; hence, Contemporary-realism.
These techniques were horned through hours of research and exploration. For instance in my newest body of work titled Headline Series, I knew I wanted to pass on a message about the corrupt news systems in the world. I initially planned to draw the newspaper but I soon realized that it was unauthentic and may water down my message, hence, I decided to use real Nigerian newspapers, paint and charcoal. Each piece (newspaper) depicts an image of a palm trying to break free from behind a tight plastic bag. This represents a metaphor of the society trying to break free from its oppressors. Each piece is a deliberate attempt by the artist to bring to the consciousness of everyone, the corrupt news systems around the world.
Via: @kennwadiogbu
How would you say your Art has been able influence the society?
My Art is a reflection of my society. Through it, I challenge socio-political issues affecting Nigerians, Africans and Black people in diaspora, with the hope of making a change. I create art because I want to inspire people and shape the society, positively, which is why I created works that spotlight issues of Nigerians as in the case of series like ‘King’s Diary’ (2018), ‘Eye Witness’ (2018), ‘The Bad Mentality’ (2018) and ‘The Truth’ (2019).
Beyond the canvas, I am a strong believer in empowering the younger generation. I have taught art and inspired students in Nigerian schools like British International School, Harris Academy South Norwood London, Topgrade Secondary School, and many more. I have also spoken at platforms like TEDX and Child’s Play. My intention is to inspire and encourage young Nigerian creatives, especially with the lack of support in the art industry.
What area of your work or personal development are you working on exploring further?
My Art continues to evolve. I certainly would be exploring it further by experimenting and continuous research.
How would you describe the future of Art on a global scale?
Not to be pompous but, I believe it will be ‘Contemporary-realism’. Because It is largely centred around the fusion of hyper-realism and contemporary art and it is a welcome deviation from the traditional hyper-realism movement. My work has since evolved from hyper-realism, as I infuse elements from contemporary art into my work, hence, “Contemporary-realism.
I think art enthusiasts and collectors are slowly beginning to take notice. For sure, it will change the perception of hyper-realism and how such works are viewed.
Via: @kennwadiogbu
Thus far, what has been your biggest career moment?
So far, my biggest career moment has been presenting my works at my debut solo show ‘Contemporealism’ at Brick Lane Gallery, London last year. I must say, it was dream come true.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I would say: Art Supplies: any artist living and working in Nigeria realizes the high cost of purchasing Art supplies locally or even importing, as you would have to clear with customs at the border. In order to overcome this, I have focused on the use of locally made materials and materials I can find in my surroundings.
Also, visibility: In the past, I struggled with visibility, not for myself, but for my Art. It is not news that the Art world is not a famous industry. Thus, one of my goals is to make it as big as the music or fashion industry. It is also important to me that as many people as possible see the Art I have created, that way, I am able to influence positive change one Artwork at a time. In order to increase visibility, I set up a small public relations team, that publicizes my latest body of works to new and broader audiences.
What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is my team, they inspire to be better and to continuously seek ways of bettering myself and my art. I believe no man is an island, you cannot do it alone, especially in Art and I also believe there is strength in numbers.
Visual Art

Expressionism as a Medium of Communicating in the Millennial

Regina Ogwuche

Over time Art has been one of the most beautiful, passionate and detailed form of expressionism known to mankind and the world. It is known to portray and communicate the feelings, visions, thoughts and believes of the curator with the use of various Artistic materials and medium to display ideas as symbols and objects. Usually, it tells the tale and life experiences of the Artist, thereby giving its audience a glimpse and feel of the creator’s journey. Artists have been known to harness their craft and skills in order to show and express to their audience what they were feeling or thinking at the moment of the piece’s creation.

According to Adegboro Blessing Gbemileke, (Jahbless) a multi disciplinary contemporary visual Artist, “My art actually talks about the beauty and painful side of life because I am inspired by the facial expressions of humans and that is the major driving force of my art.

“My Art usually portrays an expression of what the picture is having in mind, and it is expressed with my choice of colour. I work as an expressionist artist.

Artwork by: Adegboro Blessing

“I basically make use of the three major colors, Blue, Red, Yellow but in particular, you’ll always see Yellow and purple in my work.

“Painting, in my perspective, is the act of interpreting and expressing my feelings by solving them with the use of colours,” Adegboro Blessing explains.

Art work by: Adegboro Blessing

The Ondo state native who completed his National Diploma (ND) at the polytechnic of Ibadan In 2016 and also his Higher National Diploma (HND) program at Yaba College of Technology as a painter in 2019 disclosed that he draws influence from various Artists including, Olusegun Adejumo, Edosa Ogiugo and Ejoh Wallace.




Visual Art

The Duke of Lens Unfold’s Cinematography Scoops

Nigerian Cinematographer, Michael Shodipe (Duke of lens) in this interview with The Parakeet Show shares vital scoops into the world of a cinematographer, his greatest success so far as well as his goals for the new decade. Emmanuel Obokoh presents the excerpts:

Briefly tell us about yourself?

My name is Michael Sodipe. Also, I go by the Artistic name Duke of Lens; I am a cinematographer and I am from Ishara remo, Ogun State.

How best would you describe what you do?

A cinematographer or director of photography is the boss over the camera and light crews working on a film, television production or other live action pieces. I am responsible for making Artistic and technical decisions related to the image.

How did your begin your journey into cinematography?

I graduated from Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo with a degree in Economics. However, fast forward to a few months later, I got a job with a media firm called IBST Media. Technically, coming from a different background made it quite interesting fitting into the new space. But I was blessed to have learnt from the scratch, from rolling cables, carrying tripods to logging which was how the journey began.

Can you shed more light on what your work entails?

A cinematographer’s job can be quite simple with a good director who knows what visuals he is trying to create. It is crucial for both to be in sync to be able to achieve that.

On the other hand it can be difficult filming under different conditions, especially when it is an outdoor shoot. But, basically it is essential that you have an eye for creativity.

At some point in time, a typical week for me as a cinematographer was working 9-5, of which was tasking with everyday travel trips from one location to another. As a result I have been to thirty four states Nigeria. Thereafter, I made the decision to become a freelance cinematographer of, which can be very quiet at times, but when you have got series of shoots lined up, it could be hectic and again in my line of work there is nothing like Saturday and Sunday being free as we work any day at anytime.

Via @duke_of_lens

How do you plan for a shoot?

Planning for a shoot for me starts with a brief from the client and producer that gives me a guideline of what is expected from me visually.

Also, I analyze the location of the shoot, looking at possible advantages and disadvantages I can encounter. This gives me an idea of the camera setup and equipment needed for my shoot.

What are the things you like and dislike about what you do?

My work definitely has likes and dislikes but once you have passion for what you do you will learn there are likes and dislikes that are important and keep you motivated.

What is most challenging about cinematography?

The most challenging thing for me is in regards to our Nigerian economy; filming on the streets of Lagos; especially with the whole drama of gangsters on the street demanding for settlement or otherwise seizing your camera. I remember getting punched in Festac because the guy wanted to drag my camera. I guess it is part of the job and nothing great comes easy.

Amidst all that, there is a rewarding feeling in seeing your visuals looking crisp and getting positive commendations from different people.

What level of education, schooling or skills is needed to be a successful cinematographer?

In my own case, I studied economics as my first degree before furthering on to get a degree in Cinematography at Mumbai. Although, some people did not go to school to learn, rather they learnt on the job as an assistant.

Nevertheless, I think it is important that you attend a proper film school and learn the basics of filming.

What in your opinion are the most important qualities of a cinematographer?

A cinematographer would require an eye for detail and a mind for fast invention is very important. Also, a thorough understanding of lighting techniques, light color, shade and manipulation as well as a Strong technical knowledge of cameras and the film production process and strong communication skills. However, for me the most important quality for me is a good listening ability.

via: @duke_of_lens

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

Most people feel we carry a camera and just press record. They should always know we are the brains behind any video they watch on their screens. It is an Art which requires a high level of creativity and intelligence. It is not a roadside thing.

How do you balance work and family?

Well, balancing my family life and work can be tricky, but it is important your partner understands the nature of your work, and can tolerate your travelling and going off for weeks. Fortunately for me, thus far, it has been great.

What has been your greatest moment as a cinematographer?

Greatest success in cinematography is filming for CNN with Zain Aisher on three episodes for CNN Africa and also documentary on Afro Beats the Back Story.

What are your goals and dreams for the future?

My goals for the future would be to impact younger ones with the knowledge I have and also have my own studio in Nigeria like the Tyler Perry studios, whereby people can come in to film without issues.

What advice would you offer someone looking to pursuit this career?

My advice would be, go to a film school. It does not have to be the most expensive but get a proper school, learn the ropes and definitely you would succeed.

What else would you like people to know about your job?

Cinematographers can be weird but we are still one of the coolest people out there.

Visual Art

Feminism, Religion as the Bed Rock of a Blooming Contemporary Artist’s Journey

Regina Ogwuche In this interview with blooming Contemporary Visual Artist, Chidinma Nnoli writes:

The creation and innovation of Art pieces have been known to have ties with the Artist’s personal background, religion and environment. It is common to come across Art that depicts the stories and journey of its curator. Thus, Africa being the home of multilingual and cultural heritage, it has witnessed major blooming contemporary Artists expressing their emotions and experiences with different artistic tools as, canvass, Acrylic, oil, paints, brush, charcoal, textiles, erasers and pen.

Artists have revealed that empathy, emotions and religious morals have played a crucial role towards the birth of their Artistic content. These, they explain influences the method and approach they infuse while depicting their thoughts into Art.

Artwork by: @chidinma.nnoli

Contemporary Visual Artist, Chidinma Nnoli who was born into a catholic family within the eastern region of Nigeria, Enugu before moving to Lagos, where she was raised, explained that Catholicism plays a big role in her work today.


Can you tell us briefly about your background and your journey towards becoming an Artist?

I got my B.A at the university of Benin in 2018 and I have been practicing professionally since then. I can’t remember when art started for me but I do remember when I started taking it seriously. In high school I was really interested in textile designs and I decided that is what I wanted to do in university, but after experiencing painting I decided to shift my priorities cause I felt painting was a more flexible means of expression. I still borrow ideas from my textile background like stenciling, which I infuse into my work.

How would you describe Art?

Art does not mean one thing. However, to me it is vulnerable pieces of magic and fragments of my experiences. Its spontaneous, its fun.

What inspires you to create Art?

Personal stories and stories I empathize with inspire my art. I’m very curious about how people are due to social conditioning so I navigate towards stories like that. Books inspire me too, one line in a really good book could become a poem that i write and then a whole body of work i express with oil on canvas.

The need to recreate my experiences inspires and motivates me to create so people could understand that they’re not alone and we’re all connected somehow by our experiences. I just want people to get a glimpse of what it feels like in my head.


Artwork by: @chidinma.nnoli

What sort of Art do you create and what sort of audience do you curate for?

People see my work and assume that I’m a feminist because I paint women the most. I mostly paint women and I’m a feminist but I do not always make feminist Art, most of my work are based on personal experiences and stories I empathize with. I’m a woman so empathizing with female experiences more come naturally to me but I just want people to see my work and be able to relate with these experiences even if they haven’t lived it regardless of the gender I choose to represent on canvas.

When i started looking at art, i found out i was drawn to stories that moved me. I’d see pure honest art and relate to it on a personal level, I’d almost cry. I knew that was what i wanted people to feel while looking at my work and i just navigated towards doing that with my art. I’m drawn to personal stories and lived experience and I want people to experience that in my work.

In your opinion, what is the volume of which, Nigerians value arts?

There are two sides to the value Nigerians have for Art. Aesthetically, they value it but for the most part a lot of Nigerians still do not see it as something worth investing in or taking seriously, which is why parents are kinda skeptical about their kids doing Art. So that begs the question of value cause for something to be valuable money has to be involved. Nigerians are not there yet but we are getting there.

What are the major challenges you have faced within the Artistic space and how have you been able to beat them?

I think the biggest for Artists is self doubt. Just DO THE WORK! I have an Artist friend I go to when I need advice, and then he tells me to just do the work and cloud out the struggles. Thus, whenever i doubt myself i just keep doing the work and researching ways to get better. Do this and with time everything else will happen organically. Another challenge is finding opportunities like Art residencies in Nigeria.

Artwork by: @chidinma.nnoli

What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating Art?

I love listening to music, I dance and imagine myself in a Taylor swift music video, its crazy but music is something I’d have strongly considered if I wasn’t doing art. I love watching old movies and reading. I write poetry sometimes.

What sort of message or story does your Artwork pass across to the world and is there a connection with the process of its curation?

My art talks about different things cause my subject matter is always changing. when I create I always try as much as possible to create from the heart and that’s personal to me an artist, I am deeply concerned about the honesty of my work which is why themes of my art border around emotions, social construct and how it relates to the human condition, cultural conditioning and the truth or the lack thereof in our everyday lives.

As much as my life experiences influence my Art a lot, while interpreting my Art like to detach myself as the subject and explore the creative process in way that I’m not limited to my own experiences alone. I want people to detach the Artist while interpreting my work, you understand it better.

Also, sometimes my process involves making pieces of art that are inspired by poems I write so yes, there is a connection between the process and the message.

Artwork by: @chidinma.nnoli

How do you reference current social or political issues in your pieces?

It depends on what I’m working on. My two major series talked about how the autocracy of the patriarchy within the family can be a breeding ground for toxicity which affects the psychology of a growing child. I also worked on the psychological trauma’s of sex slavery and I shot a documentary on that project for human trafficking month in January.

How do you navigate the art world?

One step at a time. I paint, look for opportunities online and shoot my shot . I’m quite comfortable with doing these through my phone.





Sick of This Cell

Rukkayyah Iman
Can I take you to court ?
Can I charge you with murder and keep you in a cell like the one you kept my sister in?
Curtain by curtain you shut out her joy,
kept her in the dark
Wondering when you were gonna explode.
Imprinted on her were the inconspicuous never reconciling wounds,
She fought daily to Feel the texture
of what we call day to day life,
Mortality on a slippery slope,
Her heart had to fill itself
With Strength and hope.
You chased the beats,
Raised the pressure,
On the outside, Nana,
she always Looked like a mountain of treasure.
Those golden tear drops were no
Nectar to your venom in her veins.
All that treatment was never the key
To free her from your invisible chains.
You weren’t only injurious to her body
you were injurious to her soul.
But she rose above any toxic thought,
Yet it was always a losing battle
as you had her from the first blink of her eyes,
Though I thought she was mine,
she was always yours.
You kept her in a cell, and now we are in that cell caged to her memories.
I’d wish pain was transferable,
As for her I wouldn’t mind,
If she could rise on two feet
If I was down on my knees.
Photographed by: Hamid Ayodeji
Visual Art

IyunOla Sanyaolu: My Art is Driven Towards Finding Calm in Chaos

Awarded the female Visual Artist of the year 2018, from the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, where she studied painting. IyunOla Sanyaolu is one artist who has evolved from the creative cocoon of the Nigerian artistic scene. Experimenting with various mediums, she has been able to depict that art has the ability to transform moods and emotions, whilst possessing abstract meanings to each individual or audience.

“My art explores the path of what message wants to be passed through me, because i know there is so much potential in this being. With this enigma, i explore the oil medium and spray paint, texture, colors, movements whilst being influenced by my culture, heritage, environment and thoughts,” IyunOla explains.

Hamid Ayodeji presents the excerpts:

Hi, when did you develop interest in Art?

I can’t really put a time to that, but I know it has been of interest to me for a very very long time.

What medium do you prefer and how did you come to use it as your primary one?

I really enjoy the oil medium, And I think it’s because of how flexible the medium is. It doesn’t dry quickly so I can cross my T’s , dot my I’s and later decide to uncross my T’s and undo my I’s. I have used other known mediums but I prefer Oil for now because I don’t know what medium I might experiment with next.

How long have you been making money off your artworks?

That would be for 3 years now

IyunOla Sanyaolu

Do you have any advice for someone who is aspiring to be a successful artist?

Before the advice, I’ll ask them if they truly have passion for the profession. And if they do, that means no matter the obstacle, they’ll keep striving for success. So they should try as much to avoid being heavily influenced by opinions of others and express what they genuinely want to express. Study more in other to develop the skill and find opportunities to put yourself more out there.

How would you describe your type of art?

My style of art drives towards expressionism, and that’s because it shows the emotional experience rather than the physical. So every color, movement and the likes is an out pour of inner feelings and ideas.

How do you know when it is time to curate?

My moods depict most of it, when angry, when sad, happy…or I have an ongoing project that isn’t going too well for me and I want to correct it. Sometimes, I’m just curious.

IyunOla Sanyaolu
Via @iyunola

How do you measure the amount of value you attach to your artworks?

Different factors affect this and that includes cost of materials, the idea, one’s experience, time . . . There is more but these are majors I can pick out.

How would you describe the current situation of art as a business, whereby artists get value or more for their creations in the country?

Of recent times, the art industry in Nigeria has taken a very good turn. It is more appreciated home and abroad. It’s an encouragement and makes it a more promising profession. Opportunities and recognition pour in from the overseas and that shows growth.

What sort of influence has your environment had over your Art works?

My environment is pretty polluted, and I don’t mean in its rational meaning alone. My art is an escape to these things. It is driven towards finding calm in the chaos.

IyunOla Sanyaolu

You emerged as the female visual artist of the year 2018, from the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, how has that impacted the direction and value of your art works?

Getting that recognition is an encouragement. Like we see what you do, keep up the good work type of encouragement and has driven me to keep up my good work and want to strive to achieve my goal.

Recently you exhibited your artworks during the RMB Graduate Artists Program, which featured your pieces, alongside cu-rations by the likes of Akintomide Aluko, Ayanfeoluwa Olarinde, Washington Mosadioluwa, to mention a few; how has this experience impacted your journey thus far as an artist?

This was a mind blowing experience for me as being handpicked shows they believe in me and that has made me believe in myself more!

Considering how much influence emotions have over the creation of Art, which of the emotions will you say drives you the most to create?

I would say, hunger for more, if that can be classified as an emotion. My curiosity to know and learn and also the urge to say something.

If any, what are the challenges you come across as a creative, in this part of the world?

Definitely, finding opportunities. The opportunities available in this part of the world are too little to cater for the growing artists. To be specific, art residencies and fellowships. Something I really want to participate in, but because of the very few opportunities, I am forced to search abroad.


Photographed by: Hamid Ayodeji

Visual Art

Beautiful Minds in A Flash with Zara

My bright artwork is driven by sad feelings and my dark art is driven by more happy or peaceful times. My bright art has fewer details normally, so I can’t really focus on it for too long and is just in the moment of sad or lonely. My catalog has more dark art and experimental stuff and those were mainly just curiosity and happy times. It all depends, really, Nigerian, Abuja based artist Zara Medugu, explains to

Hamid Ayodeji exclusively for theparakeetshow writes the excerpt

What is Art to you?

Art to me is escapism from this world into your own.

What made you take your Art further, from merely a hobby to a career?

When I was still 17 years old trying to get my footing, it was the drive to be known – I wanted to be a Tavi Gevinson who was young, smart, and had an active audience who appreciated her fully. Now at 23, it’s more of a necessity. I already immerse my art in everything I do, so why not add a little price tag to it? I tried working a 9 to 5 and hated how exhausted and drained I was. I want art in all mediums to be what provides me with a comfortable enough way of life.

The reason I started art and still love it is because I get to share myself with the world and provide people this tangible piece of my experiences that they can relate to. I was giving away these moments for free (and still sometimes do), but I also realized I don’t have to be a dead artist to make a little profit or be appreciated.

What University did you graduate from and what was it like for you as a young artist?

I finished from the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel at 20, but I didn’t study art. What I read was so far off visual art, but I was young and not paying my own school fees so I couldn’t really complain. Israel was a creatively stimulating place though – I made friends with people outside the school walls who were artists, poets, musicians and creators. I was also lucky enough to work on two radio shows there that allowed me to meet and interview people who had years of experience in the creative field and who spoke candidly about how you don’t just wake up and have it all. I learned art through experimentation, I learned how to navigate the art world by listening and trying.

Any specifics on how you were able to self develop your Artistic gift asides the basic fine art in primary and secondary school?

I am grateful for the curious mind I have that allows me to always find a craft store and buy up cheap supplies, which I used to experiment. I also thank the internet for being there for me to look up more techniques, tools and mediums.

How do you know when it is time to pick up your pen or brush to start creating?

It’s like falling in love or peeing; you just have this unshakable feeling that won’t leave. I try to do something creatively once a week, write, draw or sew. Even if it’s just for myself and it’s terrible.

Also, how do you know when a piece is complete and ready to be shown to the world?

My brother told me a piece is never complete. He made these intricate posters that he would have for years and just keep adding to. A lot of artists I follow share this same sentiment. I normally don’t like to spend time on one piece or thing, so it’s really about how people react to it. If I put out something I only half-love and it doesn’t sell at a show, I know it’s because there’s something missing, so I go back and try to add to it. But anything is ready to be shown as long as you show it.

If you were able to bring back one visual artist legend, who will that be and why?

I love a lot of dead artists, but I don’t think I would bring any back. It’s like how they say ‘never meet your idols’ – their reputations already precede them in such a way that makes them seem more legendary than human. I don’t think any of them would be happy to be back anyways.

What did you think you were going to go into as a career when you were much younger?

Nope. When I was 3, I wanted to be a ballet dancer or a model; I have no coordination or confidence for either of those jobs. I’ve always drawn and had a wild mind, but visual art didn’t really hook me until I was in SS1.

What is your take on the increased appreciation and attention African Visual Artist are now receiving?

I like it because visual art and the artists are being seen and acknowledged and paid. I’m just not a super fan of the pandering I often see that comes from African artists when it comes to getting international attention. Every story is ‘look at this African making African art about Africa and the suffering of Africans’.

Why can’t I just be a Nigerian artist making goofy cartoons or abstract art about my cat or life? I say keep the attention coming, but allow us to exist outside of the negative connotations people have.

What color do you feel you connect with the most and why?

Pink always seems to follow me, but it’s really green that has my heart. It’s always either very tacky or fits right into whatever you’re doing. Sea-foam green is my favorite shade though because it reminds me of a lot of Van Gogh and Botticelli pieces. It’s comfortable and calming.

Considering how much influence emotions has over the creation of Art, which of the emotions will you say drives you the most to create your Art?

My bright artwork is driven by sad feelings and my dark art is driven by more happy or peaceful times. My bright art has fewer details normally, so I can’t really focus on it for too long and is just in the moment of sad or lonely. My catalog has more dark art and experimental stuff and those were mainly just curiosity and happy times. It all depends, really.


Walking the Runway to Starting Up Potential Fashion Empires

Gone are the days whereby, men rule the entrepreneurial world as women are now very much involved in business. Among top 10 ruling businesses in the world, 35% are owned by women.

Female owned entrepreneurs have not been caught to be lagging behind as we have seen the steady increase of young female involvement in the various diversified businesses, most especially within the world of fashion.

The year 2018/2019 winner of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) and Founder, Uzoleatheratelier, Anita Ukah exclusively takes into the journey of her fashion entrepreneurship.


Happiness Irabor writes the excerpts:


How did you feel competing against other young beautiful women as yourself, then did you still feel like you stood a chance at winning the crown?

Not at all, I guess I was more focused on what the journey leading to the finals would be like. For me, purchasing the MBGN form meant I believed in myself that I could win the crown, of which, I gave it my best.

How did you feel when you were announced the winner?

I was overwhelmed. I was in shock for the first few seconds and just stood there. I was beyond happy.

What has been your greatest motivation thus far?

The plans I have for myself, knowing how far I have come, what I have accomplished, where I want to be and who I want to be, pushes and motivates me.

Anita Ukah, Eko Atlantic Energy City, 2019 Photocredit: @hamidayodeji

How has your the journey into entrepreneurship been since you launched your Bag and accessories company, Uzoleatheratelier?

Uzoleatheratelier is a luxury brand that specializes in leather products such as, hand bags. Initially, I wasn’t able to push my brand as much as I would have loved to, as a result of time management. But consequently, I have been able to put more focus on my Brand and I’m happy with the results so far.

Do you see the brand growing into manufacturing male and female wears?

I have released a new collection of female handbags bags for the Uzoleatheratelier brand, so, for now it is just female bags and accessories that are being designed and curated. On the bright side, I am working towards expanding and incorporating a unisex collection as well, in the nearest future.

Via: @uzoleatheratelier

What are some of your health and lifestyle routines that keep you glowing and beautiful?

I am currently making a conscious effort to eat healthy, have lots of fruits and water.

What are the five things you cannot have a perfect day without?

A prayer, my phone and lip gloss . . . lol

What advice do you have for aspiring models who are working towards becoming top models?

My advice would be, they should be vigilant and aware, to avoid falling into the wrong hands; as there are lots of saddening stories relating to this these days. To put in heart into what you love, because that is one way to get the best out of it.

And most importantly, believe in yourself and don’t let anyone convince you that you’re not good enough.




Edge of Twenty

Daniel Igenewari

If I walk out the gates at twenty

I want my footprints hanging over the heart of the city

Rather that than a shadow of cloud at seventy.
Rather that than a sullen eye at ninety with a path I no longer see.
But twenty is walking past
Still I’m a toddler at the feet
Stranded at the edge of the universe,
Not knowing what path leads off the sea.
Knowing not what path lands me on the throne.
I asked the grey-bearded man
Surely he should know.
He raised a weary face to mine
Eyes gone pale, blinded by cataract’s,
The kind only regrets bring.
He said, “Son no one knows if you don’t.
The music of life plays a different tone at divers tempo for us all. Dance the music of the night or miss the morning light”.
If I walk out the gate today
Would it cause a ripple in the sea of dreams.
The dream of the universe.
Or would the rivers flow with joy?
For my time of hope is up
And I might jump tonight.
Model: @_peggie_g
Photographer: @hamidayodeji
Set Assistant: Seun Ogunlesi
Set Location: @wrapafrica_ studios

An African Giant

Hamid Ayodeji

A true legacy dies when it is about to birth a younger tribe, sprung from freedom seeking energy and spirits.

This is the time to be alive as a Nigerian and African, considering how African art is at its peak and being exported to the rest of the world for consumption once again. Owing to this, reviewing ancient and modern art without giving due accolades to what Nigerian artists brought and are still bringing to the artistic world cannot hold much water.

Hence, taking a peek at the booming musical culture of the continent, it can be pointed out that Afro-beat has earned its place on the global stage, anchored by Nigerian artist such as, Fela Anikulapo Kuti whose era of Afro-beat sound spreading like wild fire globally, coupled with powerful sounds and lyrics showed the universe that Africa had a lot to teach and influence using art as the medium of expression.

Show casing a vibe that was not heard of or experienced yet as at that time with his Instruments, dance, lifestyle, as well as passion Fela educated the world on the depth of which corruption had eaten its way down to the roots of the country and how the Armed forces harassed civilians who spoke up against the wrong doings of the government, at that time.

The phase of his physical assaults by the Armed Forces is in line with a cruel government that thinks not the social development and well being of its citizens which eventually led to a platoon of soldiers storming his Resident at Ojuelegba, (the first Kalakuta Republic) in order to brutalize the people they met.

This operation by the Nigerian Armed Forces that very day as far as history is concerned, recorded the death of Mrs Funmilayo Ransom Kuti, who leaped to the Heavens after she was thrown from the balcony of the building by soldiers.

“Zombie, oh, zombie, Zombie no go go unless you tell am to go, Zombie no go stop unless you tell am to stop. No brake, no jam, no sense,” he sang on his 1976 song titled, Zombie.

Funmilayo Ransom Kuti

The departure of Mrs Funmilayo Ransom Kuti from our world, during the 1978 military regime, at Felas’s Kalakuta Republic, took a part of him that could never be entirely replaced by any other feeling creating music and illuminating the world with his sound could ever offer.

Officially, nobody was held accountable for this gruesome act. However, this did not stop the music god from searching for inner peace and clarity as shortly after, Fela was known to be affiliated with a Ghanaian sorcerer, Professor Hindu, who acted as his spiritual adviser.

According to his son, Femi Kuti, in Veal’s book, “Fela changed when Hindu came into his life. Everyone now got worried because Fela wouldn’t listen to anyone except for Hindu.

“My mother said I should come out of it because it was getting too diabolical and deceitful. But I told her If i leave him now, it is possible he will get killed and we will lose him forever.

“I felt this because Hindu once told Fela that if he wore a special African bulletproof vest, they could shoot him and he wouldn’t die. To prove it, Hindu got a gun and put the jacket on a goat and fired six shots to show it really worked. Later, we found out he had used blanks. But my father thought this was wonderful and he wanted to put the jacket on himself. Luckily, his elder brother said “Let’s try it on another goat, just in case. So they took this double-barreled gun–and the goat died. And Fela cried and cried. Obviously, they were cheating him”

Fela Anikulapo kuti was not just any other musical genius; he always looked for perfection and justice in everything he was conscious of, which birth an evergreen culture that can never leave those it came in contact with.