A trip to Lagos is incomplete without a visit to Nike Davies Okundaye‘s Nike Art Gallery in Lekki, Lagos. “Mama Nike” as she is called by many has a truly remarkable and inspiring story. The veteran textile designer “pioneered the global revival of Nigeria’s ancestral dark blue cloth-dyeing art – Adire”
This past weekend, CNN International’s African Voices featured an extensive interview with Mama Nike.
She discussed her work aimed at empowering disadvantaged young people and women using Adire and art – “When they come there, it is free for them. They can eat and they can also discover themselves as an artist….And I always arrange exhibition for them, so they will be able to sell their work, not only to just do the work.” says Okundaye
Mama Nike also opened up about her humble beginning and how she learned the art of weaving and textile design “My great-grandmother started teaching me how to weave — from weaving to embroidery, embroidery to Adire, Adire to painting, painting to patchwork” she says.
She also discussed her spirituality including drawing her artistic and spiritual inspiration from Osun, the river goddess. “Nobody sees the goddess face to face, but you can see her in your dream. And sometime it talks to me in my dream….Immediately I dream and I wake up, I will quickly sketch it, because if I have to wait, it may go off my head. So the river has made a lot of impact because a lot of what I draw is about female who do the worshipping.“
Very intriguing interview and profile.
Information & Video Source: CNN International
Every week CNN International’s African Voices highlights Africa’s most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera.