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Harvest of encomiums for Kongi @80


An artistic expression of Soyinka by Nwogu Akudo.

A collection of works on display

In songs, poems, dances, paintings and different works
of arts, admirers of Prof Wole Soyinka celebrate him as he turned 80 on July 13. There were lectures, exhibitions and various artistic expressions telling the
beautiful story of Kongi.

At the J.P. Clark Arts Centre at the University of
Lagos, an exhibition put together by Dr Peju Laiwola of the Creative Arts
Department, displays a collection of choice works; paintings, cartoons,
sculptural pieces, installation works, pottery and tie & dye.
Cartoonist, Jimga, tells Soyinka’s story with a
cartoon themed ‘The Early Years,’ welcoming visitors to St. Peter’s Primary
School, Abeokuta, where Soyinka started his education.

His work showed a man of confidence, who knew what he
wanted to become in life even as a little boy. He had exuded understanding of a
world where he would become the center of attraction in creative arts. 
Jimga with a display of his cartoon expression  of Prof Soyinka’s early days.
Some artistic paintings at the exhibition.

Sheriff  Ojetunde with some of his beautifully designed decorative pots on display.
He had showed that he had dreams as a child, and he
remained focused to realise his dream that earned him the prestigious award of
a Nobel Prize for Literature.

Jimga used the medium to encourage the youths to
believe in their creative abilities and push the frontiers of endless
possibilities in using their skills to achieve greatness just like the highly
revered art icon, Soyinka.

Curator of the exhibition, Dr. Laiwola, said the
exhibition which will run till the end of July, marks a new dimension to
celebrating icons as Soyinka, who have impacted society in diverse ways.

She expressed confidence that the practise of art in
Nigeria in its diverse forms has come of age where it is now competitive and
highly appreciated nationally and internationally.
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