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 Akintobi EyiwunmiImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi

Akintayo Akintobi OmotokeImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi

Akintayo Akintobi My NectarImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi

Akintayo Akintobi Lady BlueImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi

Akintayo Akintobi Unbreakable BondImage courtesy of Akintayo Akintobi

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

Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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