I was teased a lot when we moved to the United States. There I was a ten-year-old immigrant from Nigeria, with a different accent, different hairstyle, different clothes, different everything. Add my low self-esteem, and what you get is an easy target for relentless bullying. I quickly learned that American was good and Nigerian was bad, and since I wanted to fit in so badly, I quickly assimilated.
Fast forward more than twenty years, and I am using my artwork to show that I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed of my culture and heritage. I always thought that because Africa had so many issues, I couldn't be proud of being an African, but overtime I have come to realize that it is possible to love something even though it is flawed. I have learned that I am worthy as an African and that Africa is worthy.
In my paintings, I use both acrylic paint and collage pieces from vintage magazines dating back to the 1950’s to share my feelings about being an African. I try not to hold back or paint Africa in an overly rosy or overly grim light. I want to show both the good and the bad and share the struggles and joy that I feel when I think of my beloved homeland. I hope to take my viewers on a journey with each painting. I want to inspire others who are going through what I’ve been through and hopefully re-ignite self-pride and self-love for those who need it the most.