10-year-old artist daz­zles at Terra Kul­ture

The Punch - - EDUCATION -

AT the Terra Kul­ture Art Gallery, 10-yearold Kanyey­achukwu Tagbo-okeke daz­zled other ex­hibitors from dif­fer­ent parts of the world with his fas­ci­nat­ing pieces of art works.

The young artist made his­tory when he hosted a solo ex­hi­bi­tion, which fea­tured dis­play about 44 works pro­duced over a pe­riod of five years.

ev­ery great artiste has a story and Kanyey­achukwu’s story is noth­ing short of re­mark­able. Di­ag­nosed with autism at the age of four, he started paint­ing at five and was awarded the pres­ti­gious “flame of peace”, by the Arch Duke and Arch Duchess of Aus­tria when he was eight years-old.

Kanyey­achukwu has hosted two ex­hi­bi­tions in Abuja and La­gos as well as hav­ing his works dis­played at sev­eral ex­hi­bi­tions at home and abroad. He is one artist who has con­tin­ued to use the bright and some­times deep col­ors to com­mu­ni­cate with the world as he sees it and ul­ti­mately ex­press him­self.

Un­der the chair­man­ship of the Ceo of NESTOIL Dr ernest Azu­di­alo-obiejesi, the young artists’s ex­hi­bi­tion at­tracted art en­thu­si­asts and af­fi­ciona­does from all works of.

Mav­er­ick mu­sic maker and daugh­ter of bil­lion­aire Busi­ness mag­nate, Femi otedola, DJ cuppy was one of the first call­ers to the ex­hi­bi­tion and she also com­mis­sioned one of his master pieces. More works were com­mis­sioned by other no­table per­son­al­i­ties who graced the event. ev­ery­one wanted to take some­thing home.

Speak­ing at the event, Dr Azu­di­aloo­biejesi, was full of praises for the young artist. Hail­ing his abil­ity to sur­mount so many chal­lenges and pro­duce such works, he also com­mended Kanyey­achukwu’s par­ents, Mr and Mrs Tagbo and

Sil­via okeke, for nur­tur­ing and pay­ing spe­cial at­ten­tion to him against all glar­ing odds. He bought one of the master pieces on dis­play and (in fact the most ex­pen­sive), and pledged to work with the Kanyey­achukwu Autism So­ci­ety, a non­profit be­ing man­aged by his par­ents and con­cerned with es­tab­lish­ing an en­hanced sys­tem of di­ag­nos­ing and car­ing for autis­tics in Nige­ria.

THere is a prom­ise of an im­pres­sive voice in the Nige­rian and, in­deed, global lit­er­a­ture. It is that of, Tomisin olu­wole, a Fash­ion Mer­chan­dis­ing student at the Cal­i­for­nia State Univer­sity, United States, who has not only dis­cov­ered her muse but is also re­ally giv­ing life to her pas­sion.

Mul­ti­tal­ented olu­wole is burst­ing forth with fine po­etry deep and ten­der at the same time. The depth of her mind is sym­bol­ised by the re­flec­tive prop­erty of her po­ems, a fea­ture that sets her apart from many aspir­ing young writ­ers who care less about what many would con­sider as the core at­tribute of po­etry: im­agery.

She demon­strates this in a chain of po­ems ti­tled ‘Half Past Two in the A. M.’, which in­clude mov­ing verses ti­tled ‘Make Sense’ and ‘The Day Moon’.

“I like to ob­serve things, re­flect on them,” olu­wole says on her source of in­spi­ra­tion. “It’s how I’ve al­ways been, and need­less to say, life has a lot to show­case. My urge to write is fuelled by my urge to pause and re­ally look at things, cou­pled with my vivid imag­i­na­tion.

“I sup­pose I dis­cov­ered I could write when I was about eight and my mum got me a let­ter-mak­ing toy ma­chine. I’d use it to make cards for ev­ery oc­ca­sion, and I’d re­ally think through ev­ery step of the process.”

She pri­mar­ily writes po­etry but she also writes short fic­tional sto­ries, ar­ti­cles, and scripts. While olu­wole says she has no one par­tic­u­lar men­tor or model as a writer, she ad­mires a lot of peo­ple for var­i­ous rea­sons. She, how­ever, pays at­ten­tion to ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to hone her skills.

“I took a lot of writ­ing in­ten­sive classes dur­ing the course of my ed­u­ca­tion, but I never re­ally saw them as some­thing of a hin­drance. They only fur­ther helped me hone my skills and gain more per­spec­tive on a range of sub­jects. And that gets in­te­grated into my writ­ing,” she says. “My dream as a writer is to make peo­ple feel things, no­tice things, spark some­thing. I re­ally just want peo­ple to read my work and take a mo­ment to re­flect. That’s all.”

But that is not re­ally all for olu­wole. For in ad­di­tion to be­ing a poet, she is also a fash­ion stylist, photograph­er, and model.

•Kanyey­achukwu

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