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The Most Valued Piece of Modern Nigerian Art Was Just Discovered In a London Apartment

It's being called "the most significant discovery in contemporary African art in over 50 years."

It's not everyday that a rare treasure is unearthed in a place as ordinary as an apartment, but that's precisely what happened on Tuesday when a famous 1974 painting by Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu, depicting the Ife Princess Adetutu Ademiluyi, was discovered in a "modest London flat," reports BBC Africa.

The famous painting is considered a national symbol of the end of the Biafran War, and had gone missing in 1994 after Enwonwu's death along with three other versions of "Tutu."


Enwonwu is widely considered "The Father of Nigerian Modernism," and the famous paining is now being auctioned for around 420,000 dollars (300,000 pounds), making it the highest valued piece by a modern Nigerian artist.

Celebrated Nigerian author, Ben Okri expressed the gravity of the moment, calling it "the most significant discovery in contemporary African art in over 50 years."

"It is a cause for celebration," he continued "a potentially transforming moment in the world of art."

Enwonwu was one of the first international artists to win international acclaim, and was famously commissioned to create a bronze sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II upon he visit to Nigeria in 1956.

Before stumbling upon the painting, Director of Modern Art at Bonham's in London, Giles Peppiatt, said he had been frequently asked to appraise potential Tutus," but they all turned out to be copies. Its unclear how exactly the paintings made their way to London.

"Tutu" will be auctioned on February 28 at Bonham's.

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Teni in "Billionaire" (Youtube)

Watch Teni's New Music Video For 'Billionaire'

Teni competes in "Who Wants to be a Billionaire?" in this new TG Omori-directed video.

Nigeria's Teni comes through with the new music video for "Billionaire," the title track from her recently-released Billionaire EP.

The monetarily-aspirational single, which produced by Pheelz, gets a feel-good music video that follows Teni as she sings from a cover of Forbes magazine and competes on a "Who Wants to Be A Billionaire?" TV show spoof. After phoning in a friend, she eventually wins a billion dollars by answering the question 'What do you call a group of tigers?' Hint: it's an ambush.

Read: Teni is the Breakout Star of 2018

Teni's new music video for "Billionaire" was directed by TG Omori, who we recently profiled as the director breathing new life into Nigerian videos. His work can also be seen in music videos like Naira Marley's "Am I A Yahoo Boy" and "Soapy," Olamide & Wizkid's "Oil & Gas" and Tekno & Zlatan's "Agege," which earned him a call into police questioning.

Watch Teni's new music video for "Billionaire" below.

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Left: Zakes Mda (Still from YouTube), Center: Basetsana Kumalo (Still from YouTube), Right: Mona Eltahawy (Andrew Toth/FilmMagic for Getty Images)

South Africa's Abantu Book Festival Announces This Year's Line-up of Speakers

Zakes Mda, Basetsana Kumalo, Mona Eltahawy, Chris Abani and more will feature at the country's biggest book festival for Black readers and writers.

Abantu Book Festival, South Africa's biggest book festival for Black readers and writers, is back for this year's installment of the cultural event. They've recently announced their exciting line-up of guest speakers and South Africans are here for it. Frankly, so are we.

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Still from Dave's NPR' Tiny Desk Concert Video.

Watch Dave's Meditative 'Tiny Desk Concert'

The British-Nigerian rapper delivers stripped-down versions of some of his most personal tracks for NPR's Tiny Desk series.

Mercury Prize-winning rapper Dave is one of the latest artists to appear of NPR's Tiny Desk series.

The British-Nigerian hitmaker, opens his set with his hit Burna Boy-assisted track "Location," joined by vocalist Tashera Robertson. We see Dave showcasing his singing voice as well as he and Robertson step in for Burna Boy's parts.

Next he performs "Black," which he says is about the Black-British experience. "Everyone's experience with being black is different, but this Is my take," he says.

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