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Video: Njideka Akunyili's 'Everyday Stuff'

Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili paints beautiful, thought-provoking and in demand collages.


Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili's collage paintings are beautiful, thought-provoking and sell like hotcakes. She just wrapped up a year-long residency at The Studio Museum and to mark it, the folks in Harlem have uploaded a three-minute video interview. The US-based artist talks about what drives her work, how fellow artist in residence Meleko Mokgosi has influenced her visual narratives, and her choice to represent domestic and intimate scenes:

"I think of my work as capturing the very ordinary, just normal everyday stuff. But I think there is something beautiful and powerful in the things that happen daily, intimate situations, sensual situations. Things people don't get to see. I think there's a beauty in that..."

Akunyili's commitment to documenting the mundane situates her within a cohort of African writers and artists who eschew the 'big' narratives which for some time dominated African cultural production. Instead of taking war, famine, hunger or the 'postcolonial question' as themes, their work foregrounds individual lives and realities to reveal, in Teju Cole's words, 'a whole world of ongoing human experience that is often ignored or oversimplified'.

Check out her website and watch the interview below:

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Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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