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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.

Photo courtesy of @sahraisha

#BlackOutEid​: Young Black Muslims Shine as They Celebrate Eid

Young Black Muslims have found creative ways to celebrate community and share their best Eid looks, even as they #StayAtHome.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim fam! Today marks Eid al-Fitr, the official end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Despite things being a little different this year (on account of the current pandemic, of course) this hasn't stopped many from finding creative ways to fast, pray and connect with their community during these times. It certainly hasn't stopped young Black Muslims from participating in the virtual tradition known as #BlackOutEid while they continue to #StayAtHome.

#BlackOutEid is an annual celebration which highlights the diversity within the Muslim world. It began in 2015, when Aamina Mohamed created the hashtag to combat the erasure of Black people within the community. Since then, the hashtag has been used across social media with Black Muslims using it to share their sharpest Eid looks.

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Rebuilding the Nigerian Fashion Industry After Coronavirus

While the style capital of Africa remains shuttered, Nigerian fashion insiders have an ambitious plan to forge an independent path in a post-COVID world.

Like most Zoom calls, the first digital edition of Woven Threads began with a headcount confirming whose mic was on, who was online at the moment and who was trying to join in.

The two-hour live session included the founder of Lagos Fashion Week Omoyemi Akerele, founder and CRO of Ruff n Tumble Nike Ogunlesi, special adviser to the Nigerian president on Ease of Doing Business Jumoke Oduwole and several other fashion professionals in a conversation on how African fashion can adapt to a fast-changing world of ruptured supply chains and cheap foreign textiles.

Like in previous years, Woven Threads was actually meant to take place in real life with a series of workshops and interactive sessions as well as a pop-up store. Normally the event is a big deal, signifying the opening of the first of Nigeria's two fashion seasons. This year it signified an industry determined to change in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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Image courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.

Alton Mason's Lagos-Shot Coming-of-Age Short Film

The model's new project was released as a social impact campaign to help COVID-19 relief in Nigeria in collaboration with Melanin Unscripted.

Model and artist Alton Mason shares his new coming-of-age short film "Rise In Light," in collaboration with Melanin Unscripted.

The stunning visuals were shot in Lagos as an introduction to the model's musical debut "Gimmie Gimmie," and has doubled as a social impact campaign in the face of the current pandemic. Mason and Melanin Unscripted founder Amarachi Nwosu set out with a goal of raising $10,000 for the Nigerian-based Khan Foundation to help provide relief packages for families on the ground, and were able to reach their goal in just 24-hours.

"Rise in Light is a movement created by the youth to inspire and ignite the future leaders of our world," says Mason of the campaign. "It's a call for change, evidence of freedom and the expression of love and joy."

The model visited Lagos for the first time last year when filming. "The moment I landed and drove into the city of Lagos, all of those American perceptions, based on fear, were proven false," Mason tells Vogue of his time in Nigeria. I was immediately captivated by nature, the land, the buildings, the water, and the spirit of the country, which made me free to create the song and video in this sacred place. I felt home."

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