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The Missing Nigerian Masterpiece Recovered In a London Apartment Just Sold for Over 1.6 Million Dollars

Ben Enwonwu's famous 1974 paining has sold for a record-breaking price.

Earlier this month, we reported on the finding of Ben Enwonwu's masterpiece "Tutu," which had been uncovered in a "modest" London flat, after having gone missing for almost 25 years.

At the time, the paining was going for $400,000 making if the most valued piece of Nigerian art. Today, "Tutu" went up for auction at Bonhams in London , and it shattered estimations by selling for a record-setting 1.6 million dollars (1.2 million pounds).


Ben Okri called the discovery of the work as "the most significant discovery in contemporary African art in over 50 years."

Considered "The Father of Nigerian Modernism," Ben Enwonwu's 1974 painting "Tutu" was a nationally embraced symbol of reconciliation following the end of the Biafran War.

Here's the story of how the painting came to be, via CNN.

Enwonwu was walking in the Nigerian countryside when he met a beautiful young woman whom he just had to paint, according to Bonhams auction house in London. Her name is Adetutu Ademiluyi, abbreviated as Tutu, and she was a princess in her city of Ife in south-western Nigeria.

The paining along with two other versions by Enwonwu went missing back in 1994. The whereabouts of the other two paintings remain unknown.

The identity of the buyer has yet to be disclosed.

Image courtesy of La Sunday.

Photos: How La Sunday Became Abidjan's Favorite Party

Faced with a lack of party options, a group of friends in Côte d'Ivoire sought to revolutionize the way their city turns up.

The opening line of DJ Arafat's hit song "Maman Sery" plays and the people on stage scream it as loudly as the crowd facing them below. Lighted phones are up in the air. Where some strangers embrace one another, others clutch their chests. The setting? A garden in Abidjan's commune of Cocody on a Sunday night.

Sundays in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire had always been reserved for beach trips and family time. All of this changed dramatically in December of 2018 when Fayçal Lazraq, Lionel Obam, Aurore Aoussi, Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, and Aziz Doumbia, better known as Bain de Foule Creative Studio created La Sunday and it took Abidan by storm.

According to Charles Tanoh-Boutchoue, co-founder of La Sunday, "The idea was to create an alternative event for fun amongst friends." The differentiating factor here was these "friends" weren't just anyone; they were trendsetters at the epicenter of Abidjan's bustling creative scene. Shares from these creatives were instrumental in creating the engagement surrounding La Sunday and its subsequent expansion.

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Still from Burna Boy's Tiny Desk concert video via NPR.

Watch Burna Boy's Mellowed-Out 'Tiny Desk' Concert

Watch the 'African Giant' run through some of his hits like 'Gbona,' 'Ye' and more for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.

Burna Boy is the latest artist to grace NPR's famous Tiny Desk.

The Nigerian "afrofusion" star took to the set for a mellowed out performance of four of his biggest tracks. Getting straight to business, the artist opened his set with a toned down rendition of his single "Gbona" before heading into the socially-aware "Wetin Man Go Do." It's much calmer of a performance than we're used to seeing from the artist.

Next he performs a funky version of "Dangote," before rounding his set out with his magnum opus of sorts "Ye." He's backed by the band The Outsiders and vocalist Christina Matovu throughout.

Burna Boy has had a stellar year, releasing his seminal album African Giant, performing at Coachella and winning several awards—including 'Best African Act' at the BET Awards—in the process.

Check out his full Tiny Desk performance below, and revisit a recent Tiny Desk performance from British-Nigerian rapper Dave from last week and check out Burna Boy's okay acoustics performance of 'Anybody' from August.

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Simi in "Selense" (Youtube)

Watch Simi's Beautiful Music Video For 'Selense'

Premiere: Simi shares the upbeat new video for "Selense," a song about time which draws inspiration from classic highlife.

Nigeria's Simi comes through with the new music video for her recent single, "Selense."

The song, which sees her sing about using your time and years on this earth preciously, gets a beautiful new video that follows Simi's verses about different characters who may or may not be spending their hours in the best way.

The upbeat new music video, which was directed by Adasa Cookey, is getting premiered here on OkayAfrica today.

"'Selense' is a song about time," Simi tells OkayAfrica. "The song draws inspiration from classic African highlife. A timeless classic that is perfect for all seasons."

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