Archives for posts with tag: Osun state

bolade art 2

Intensely passionate about art, Gbolade Omidiran is an artist with a mastery of his craft. A graduate of the Department of Art , Obafemi Awolowo University , Gbolade`s repertoire of original art  is extensive. In a few hours with him in his home in Ile-Ife,  I was  inspired by the  innovative mind of this man. Read the rest of this entry »



It feels far away but the strains are close enough for me to make out the shrill voice of the female soprano and the strident choir.  Sunday.

It all feels rather melancholic in an almost over-familiar kind of way. Perhaps the shrillness is a deliberate part of the Sunday serenade, determined to get me up one way or another.

The sounds are all around me,  seemingly coexisting quite organically outside my bedroom window. Impossible to deny, they march stubbornly into my thoughts, nudging me to life. Each sound with its own distinctness, it’s own singularity of purpose, each telling a story of the different lives fused effortlessly in this auditory Sunday morning offering in the ancient town of Ife.

My plan though is to have a lie in and thus  I try to subsume these sounds into my consciousness. Deep, bass thumping, rhythmic and constant like a heartbeat from somewhere in this  soundscape. Drumming perhaps. Another church certainly.

From the balcony next to my window,  two hearty voices  sing out some snippets of “Eleda Mi O”-and the echo is carried by more unseen voices. The sounds of splashing water from the apartment next door reminds me the Sunday morning stream of consciousness is on the move. Church is on.

All in all, I could probably have managed my lie in except in comes a very different beast. The “Igwe” ensemble have joined into the symphony of sound  and considerably racked things up.
It’s intense. This choir of revving and spluttering generators at the starting line is completely unrehearsed;  a rising fracas of sound pushed to the  limit.

My cue is complete. Get up I must. This is Nigeria.

Despite the soothing green spaces, the powdery blue sky and the softly lit horizon,  I was completely unprepared for the flood of conviction which took shape in my mind.

Eking  out a living in Nigeria requires far more mental  and physical stamina than any other place I have had the opportunity to experience first hand. As I observe the world outside slowly merge with mine,  faces blur into a mist of life and the scope of  human enterprise is both energizing and challenging.

I am warmed by the ready smiles of the  roadside  hawkers, eager to sell their freshly farmed produce of corn, yams, tomatoes, peppers, garri, palm oil, plantain and a myriad of organically grown vegetables.



The visual collage intensifies vividly as we pass through the iconic city of Ibadan; famously described by John Pepper Clark as: “scattered among seven hills like broken china in the sun”. In this metropolis of over 3 million Nigerians,  Ibadan is teeming with wide parades of people  seemingly on the move-engaged in an endless number of human activity.

All around me, in mobile stalls balanced on their heads, young boys, girls, men and women  have most of what you might need  on a hot humid afternoon and commuters stop here and there to stock up.

Lone bystanders look on intently, buried in their own universe of things to do and places to get to ; waiting for the next bus or vehicle to carry them along to someplace else;  moving or standing, humanity here is indeed in motion- man go chop-the hustle moves on.

ibadan 4

Despite  what for many  might seem like difficult odds and uncertain times, like anywhere else in the world, ordinary Nigerians continue to see to their established routines of work, family and enterprise.

Isn`t it  these immediate experiences and the  relentless energy to keep it moving which gives individual lives meaning and adds value to everyday stories?




His gallery was alive with colour, ethnic motifs and imagery rich in African themes delicately expressed in a collection of different artistic styles.

Gbolade Omidiran in his gallery showing me  his online gallery

Gbolade Omidiran  on his IPAD  showing me his online gallery

This was such  an awesome place to be.Here I was in Gbolade Omidiran`s art gallery, 5 mins from my home in Ile- Ife, Osun State Nigeria.

As my eyes darted in glee, adjusting to this fairground of colour and creativity, I literally didn’t know where to begin my visual feast. Every piece was unique, every piece drew me in and excited both the aesthetic  eye and the imaginative spirit.

Wall to wall colour- beautiful paintings by Gbolade Omidiran

Wall to wall colour- beautiful paintings by Gbolade Omidiran

Being a teacher, I am always so enthused when I get the chance to see young people engaged in learning and I can tell when young people are enjoying their learning.

All around me Gbolade`s students were clearly having a blast.

One of Gbolade`s many students avidly explaining the difference in styles between the variety of paintings.

One of Gbolade`s many students avidly explaining the difference in styles between the variety of paintings.

The bouncy ambiance and learning chatter  in the working studio which adjoined his gallery was vibrant.

Students (mostly undergraduates from the local university) were in various states of learning and experimentation; sharing and discussing ideas, actively discovering the balance between raw talent and self-discipline.


Gbolade himself wistfully recalled his apprenticeship with the great teachers – Agbo Folarin and Baba Lamidi Fakeye of Obafemi Awolowo University.

The iconic mural outside the Department of Fine Arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University where Gbolade  completed his first degree in Fine Arts.

The iconic mural outside the Department of Fine Arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University where Gbolade completed his first degree in Fine Arts.

All in all, it was a great afternoon.

To have spent an afternoon inspired by this soft-spoken gentleman was truly satisfying and an eye-opener.

Despite what else may need fixing in Nigeria, people like Gbolade Omidiran and his contemporary Ibukun Ayoola were using their skills,  passions and individual agency to make their dreams a reality and inspire a future generation of artists.

It made me imagine how much more they could accomplish with support from the state government, you never know!

With Gbolade and his students at the end of a fabulous day.

With Gbolade and his students at the end of a fabulous day.

See more pictures of Gbolade here Gbolade Omidiran in Pictures

Click here to contact Gbolade and see more of his exquisite pieces of art online.

As the Yorubas say, ” Ojo ti a o ba da ni ko ki un de”- it’s only the day that isn’t scheduled that doesn’t arrive.
Well, the 9th of August was scheduled and the 9th of August is here.

Today, from Ila Orogun to Ejigbo, from Esa Oke to Ile-Ife, infact from every crevice and corner of Osun State, men and women will get a chance to go to the polls and affect the scheme of governance for the next four years by voting for their next politically elected governor. And it is with some trepidation but with a great deal of determination that the people of Osun with both feet firmly on the ground, appear ready to say something about what they want.

images good governance

Despite any partial views I might hold regarding this political party or the other, as a non- voting observer with a deep partiality for the continuance if peace in Osun State, the reverberations on the ground, left and right of the axis are quite crucial to me.
As days inevitably do, this day too will be done and when the 9th of August is cast into the annals of history, what tales will be told I wonder?

119460-117532 frustration

Like so many citizens of Osun state bonded psychologically by that ongoing internal dialogue focused on the importance of today and the potential risk that this day might bring, I seek some solace in the everyday routines of human arrangements.
We wake up today like most Saturday mornings to stroll outside, linger by the gate or balcony tentatively to catch a neighbor or two for an animated morning chat. We share, don’t we that electric charge of hope that perhaps this day can unfold without the violence of gunfire, reckless thuggery or bloodied gashes as we exercise our freedom to choose and to choose freely.

Naturally, as these things go, social media platforms are primed for another big day. Even now, the intensity of last minute campaigns on FB are surpassed only by verbal shots fired sporadically from the camps of disparate party sympathizers. It is indeed all very interesting but I am already looking past the 9th of August.


I am looking to the days post elections when friendships will have to be reforged and relationships fragmented in the heat of party passions may need to be carefully mediated. I am hoping that the good people of Osun wont have to take the brunt of any repercussions this way or that. Afterall, there are still shops that need to sell, schools that need to re-open for learning and buses that need to ferry people from place to place even after this day is done.

images ordinary living

Let us remember that there will be life after the 9th of August.

When all the big political cabals have shipped out back to Abuja, the people and state of Osun will remain. We must ensure that regardless of the results at the end of today, a peaceful aftermath is all that really matters.

Long live Osun.
May the will of the people be done and may that will be peacefully respected.

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