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Woman of Guinness, Tosin Akingba fights Gender Bias using Art

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For Tosin Akingba, life began in a family consisting of her parents and brother. She was conditioned to live with the normalized societal bias of doing chores based on her gender alone from a young age.

“I was always reminded that he is a man, so I had to do most of the house chores myself. These are the struggles I try to reflect in my art since I started painting four years ago.” Tosin recalls.

“The society gave me experiences, and I wanted to be able to portray these experiences to the youths as a way of giving back. Starting, I knew I had the raw talent but still needed training, so I reached out to more established artists around me to help sharpen my skills.”

However, she did not always get the support and encouragement she needed. Growing up in a Nigerian home meant people around her believed in more professional careers like law or engineering. Going against that bias, she chose to study Mass Communication, which was the next best thing. But it was not until she started making money from art that her parents accepted her chosen career.

She remains inspired by all the positive things her art has exposed her to.

“I’ve had people from across the globe tell me that my art has touched them in different ways. Sometimes I add a little bit of poetry when I post my work to amplify the art’s portrayal. I get so many messages now from people telling me my work is good, I’ve sold prints as well, and it has been excellent.”

Knowing she had to become somebody in life keeps her focused and driven.

“My dad is not Dangote or Otedola, so I knew that it would be impossible to see success if I did not grab life by the reins. My art has propelled me to places that I never imagined. So my advice to female artists is to never give up on what they’ve got. Keep pushing at it, even if it’s part-time. When you keep doing it, eventually you will make an impact.” Tosin adds.

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