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Image courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi

Woman of Steel

Spotlight: Akintayo Akintobi's Impressionist Paintings Are Steeped in Yoruba Symbolism

Get familiar with the work of the talented Nigerian painter Akintayo Akintobi.

In our 'Spotlight' series, we highlight the work of photographers, visual artists, multimedia artists and more who are producing vibrant, original work. In our latest piece, we spotlight Akintayo Akintobi, a Lagos-based Nigerian impressionist painter who creates bold paintings inspired by Yoruba symbols and motifs. Read more about the inspirations behind his work below, and check out some of his stunning paintings underneath. Be sure to keep up with the artist on Instagram and Facebook.


Describe your background as an artist briefly and what led to you creating art.

I discovered my talent at the age of 7 through the drawing of cartoons and comic action figures. When the time came to pursue a career in higher institution, it wasn't a difficult decision to make as I had already developed a keen interest in art. I decided to study Fine Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria for four years and obtained a B.A/ED (Fine Arts) specializing in painting. I have been participating in art exhibitions and competitions within and outside of Nigeria.

What are the central themes of your work?

As an impressionistic painter, over the years I have drawn my inspiration as an artist from African cultures, human emotions, unique behaviors and reactions to situations in my environment and society. The impact of these dynamic reactions has enabled me to comprehend why and how people live and react differently to situations in my society, especially the Yoruba people. Sometimes I incorporate traditional Yoruba motifs or symbols within an array of irregularly shaped fragments of color to showcase my identity. Just as people react differently to situations in my society, so do people react differently to color. Over the past few years I have adopted the use of vibrant and brilliant colors.

Describe your evolution as a visual artist.

I started painting professionally in 2013. I discovered that there was something significant missing in my painting, I painted strictly to attain beauty and resemblance in my artworks. In order to broaden my scope and strengthen the depth of my art, I made up my mind to study the works of professional both western and Nigerian artists. Afterwards, I was privileged to work with an astounding Nigerian artist named Jonathan Imafidor. I spent some months working with him as his apprentice as we embarked on a self-imposed artistic adventure which influenced my use of Yoruba motifs/symbols, patterns and brilliant application of colors.

What would you describe as your best work thus far?

My best artwork so far is a painting I made recently this year titled "Ayé-ko-òótó" which translates to "the world rejects the truth". I consider this as my best work so far because of the rich content and message which can be understood across the world.

Akintayo AkintobiEyiwunmiImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi


Akintayo AkintobiOmotokeImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi


Akintayo AkintobiMy NectarImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi


Akintayo Akintobi Lady BlueImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi


Akintayo AkintobiUnbreakable BondImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi


Akintayo AkintobiAyé-ko-ootó (The world rejects the truth)Image courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi

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A frenetic sound has emerged from Lagos that pulses as the language of the streets. Despite inducing frenzied dancing at parties and across social media it remains a genre with no real name, mostly made on cheap PCs and ripped music software. Even many of those producing it do not care what it's called, no matter how excited they are to send dancers into electric-jolting fits.

London-based independent record label, Moves Recordings, have compiled their favorites of these tracks that ring out at a delirious BPM and they have dared to call it "Cruise."

It's music that exists as the intersection between class and social media and like punk or house before it, it's created by those whose lives are all but too immediate.

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The Other African Footballers in the World Cup

There are five African teams in the World Cup, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were either born in Africa, or have African ancestry.

Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia are the five African teams in the World Cup in Qatar, but there are at least 54 players on other teams who were born in Africa or have African ancestry.

This is, of course, the result of the African diaspora, the movement of people from the continent towards the rest of the world. But the stories of how African players or their families got to the other side of the world are not always so stereotypical as one might imagine. The world cup, besides a month of football, is also a way to find out about how humans move through the world. Here are a few:

One of the most talked about stories in this tournament is that of Breel Embolo, who was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, but represents the Swiss national team and refused to celebrate after scoring against his country of birth last week. Embolo scored the only goal in the 1-0 Switzerland victory. It was the first goal he ever scored in a world cup, and the video of it went viral. But it wasn’t because of his technique, it was because he refused to celebrate.

Embolo moved to France when he was six years old because his mom, who had separated from his dad, went to study there. She met a Swiss man and married him, and the family eventually moved to Switzerland when the now Monaco forward was still a kid. So when he scored for his adopted country against Cameroon, he decided to stop and hold his arms up while his teammates celebrated around him.

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Senegal Advance to the Round of 16 in the World Cup

They become the first African team to do so since Nigeria and Algeria in 2014.

Senegal have secured a place in the last 16 of the 2022 World Cup after their crucial game against Ecuador on Tuesday. This has pushed the Senegalese team to the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time since they emerged at the quarter-finals back in 2002.

The crucial game, which had very high stakes, saw both teams contend for the win-or-go-home game. In the first half of the game, Senegal soared over its Ecuadorian opponents, who made several attempts to match their energy and intensity. The team played with seamless energy and expertise, and in the 44th minute, Ismaïla Sarr scored a ferocious penalty goal that further ignited the competition.

Somewhere around the 67th minute, Ecuador’s Moisés Caicedo equalized for his team. But then Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegal’s team captain, took home the winning goal, with shot that placed his country in the knockout round.


This is the first time in 20 years the nation has qualified for the round of 16 since 2002, when Papa Bouba Diop was among the legends representing Senegal at the World Cup. Diop passed away in 2020 and exactly two years to the day, and Koulibaly, who scored the winning goal, wore an armband with the number number 19, on it, which was Diop’s shirt number. Senegalese fans in the stands also wore shirts with the number on it as a tribute to the deceased Senegalese icon.

In spite of Sadio Mane’s absence from the game, the Lions of Teranga proved to be proficient enough to seamlessly handle the game and bring home the win. Ismaila Sarr and Koulibaly made their country proud by scoring the goals that solidified their place as the winners.

This means that Aliou Cisse’s team will most likely face England in the next big game and potentially bring them one step closer to bringing the big win home.

The Netherlands team beat host team Qatar 2-0 in Tuesday’s other Group A game, which ultimately eliminated the host team, who struggled throughout their stint in the football competition and had a hard time winning any points over the course of the three games that they participated in.

In a conversation with Aljazeera, Senegalese coach Aliou Cisse promised that his experienced side “would not overthink” the occasion.

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