Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Images from the formal presentation Of Ezumeezu

Demas Nwoko (photos by Anthony Nsofor)
 On October 23 the Goethe-Institut (German Cultural Centre), Lagos, hosted the formal presentation of Ezumeezu: Essays on Nigerian Art & Architecture, a Festschrift in Honour of Demas Nwoko (published by Goldline & Jacobs Publishing, 2012) coedited by Obiora Udechukwu and me. Few if any could remember being in one room with such artistic and literary eminence in Nigeria. In the room was the celebrant, Demas Nwoko, arguably Nigeria's most important architect and leading member of the 1960s avant-garde. His closest friends Bruce Onobrakpeya and Uche Okeke, both members of the legendary Art Society at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (1958-61) were there. There was JP Clark, the preeminent poet and writer, as well as novelist and first Nigerian editor of Nigeria Magazine (1962-66) Onuora Nzekwu. Igwe Nnanyelugo Nnaemeka Achebe "Agbogidi" (Obi of Onitsha), and Oba Gbenga Sonuga (who before his coronation was a noted theatre scholar and practitioner), were in attendance. From the art world, we had Jerry Buhari, Ndidi Dike, Olu Amoda, Tony Nsofor, Emeka Udemba, Chinwe Uwatse, George Nwadiogbu, Oliver Enwonwu, Ada Udechukwu, Tunde Soyinka and many others; also the collectors Yemisi Shyllon and Folabi Kofo-Abayomi. Toyin Akinosho (leading art critic) and Jahman Anikulapo (editor Guardian on Sunday; and compere for the event), my two colleagues at Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) were present, along with journalists from The Guardian, National Mirror and Nigerian Compass. The architect Jilian Hopwood showed up; the book, The Architecture of Demas Nwoko, she recently authored with her partner and architect John Godwin was available in the stand. I was thrilled to have in the room my classmates at Nsukka (1990 class), now media executives Bedford Bokromo and Goziem Ufodike, and my seniors Reginald Akuchie (publisher, Black Trend Magazine), Chijioke Onuora (Associate Dean of Faculty of Arts, at Nsukka). Memorable is the word!

At the high table, from left: Igwe Nnanyelugo Achebe "Agbogidi" (Obi of Onitsha), Demas Nwoko, J. P. Clark and Oba Gbenga Sonuga
Jahman Anikulapo (editor of The Guardian on Sunday), was the compere

Marc-Andre Schmachtel, Director of the Goethe-Institut, Lagos giving his welcome

Frank Ugiomoh of University of Port Harcourt, the book reviewer

The artist and writer, Ada Udechukwu

Nwoko's life-long friend and influential artist, Bruce Onobrakpeya

Emeka Udemba, the artist who recently established Project-Space, Lagos

The artists Chinwe Uwatse, and Ndidi Dike (back to viewer)

My mother, Joy Okeke-Agulu

Ndidi Nwuneli of LEAP Africa, and artist Onyema Offoedu-Okeke

Obiora Udechukwu
The musician Ori Okoro (left), Obiora and Ada Udechukwu

Toyin Akinosho, foremost critic and publisher of Africa Oil+Gas Report

with good friend and artist Jerry  Buhari

The editors with Father Akosa Emodi, Ada Udechukwu, and Joy Okeke-Agulu

Standing, Photography critic Tam Fiofori and J. P. Clark, with Bruce Onobrakpeya seated lower left

Ifeoma Uche-Okeke and Ndidi Dike

Demas Nwoko, Chief Okey Ononye, Oba Sonuga, "Agbogidi," and J. P. Clark

Demas Nwoko with part of the Okeke-Agulu family: Chika, Mama, Okwudili and Ejike

Demas Nwoko greets my mother

Demas Nwoko with Oliver Enwonwu, President of Society of Nigerian Artists

From left, Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, Chief Okey Ononye, and J. P. Clark

 Oba Sonuga with Bruce Onobrakpeya
Obiora Udechukwu with architect and award-winning environmentalist Nnimmo Bassey of Environmental Rights Action. Bassey is one of the contributors to the book.

Standing: artists, Emeka Udemba, Oliver Enwonwu, and Victor Ehikhamenor

Frank Ugiomoh (second from left) with Udechukwu (center) and his former students at Nsukka: my classmates, Goziem Ufodike (left), Bedford Bokromo (3rd from right); Uche Nwosu, and Chijioke Onoura whose interview with Nwoko is included in the book.
Igwe Achebe formally presenting Ezumeezu. The conclusion of a journey that began years ago

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ofodunka, an inspirational site!

 has been listed among 7 sites of art inspiration by the online magazine Heritage 1960.

OK, I am not sure Ofodunka is that "inspirational" but if the magazine says it loves this site,  I will take the compliment, and continue to be as "informative" and "opinionated" as ever!