Growing up in Nigeria and watching my dad discuss and debate the political issues, prevalent in my native origin with his friends, travelling with him to community opinion leaders, and the custodian of our culture and tradition. Then watching him documents his findings in sketches, sometimes photographs audio recording if it is allowed. The curiosity that developed in me earlier, after reading "Things fall apart" a historical fiction of a changing culture brought about by colonialism, written by 'Chinua Achebe', made me want to ask the octogenarian community chief what it was like living under colonial rule. However, I am just a child, taught not to engage in adult’s conversation. My dad sensing my curiosity invites me to ask any question if I have one. I wanted to know why speaking vernacular is forbidden in my school. It is prohibited because the white man does not want you to listen to your elders; they do not want you to understand our ways of life he answered. All these shaped my early understanding of cultural and social issues brought about by colonialism.
Two decades later as a father and Nigeria immigrant in the UK, I found myself engaged in conversation with my daughter as she confronts the challenges posed by racism, cultural disparity, and gender inequality, face by blacks. I set out to do works that contribute to the contemporary debate on decolonisation and unlearning imperialism. (Ariella Azoulay. Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism). By portraying the blacks experience from the west. As my source material, I utilise media images and staged photographs of family members and friends that depict defiance, vulnerability, and strength. My current paintings are images of a female protester during #EndSARS, and Black Lives Matter protests demanding an end to police brutality. My subjects are portrayed in colourful figurative oil painting on canvas with symbolic object and colours to capture my subjects' energy and vulnerability.
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