3 Young Nigerian Artists Showcase Their Creativity in Art Exhibition Themed, ‘Tokunbo’

Over the years, art collection in Nigeria has been predominantly associated with established art connoisseur such as Yemisi Shyllon, the late Rasheed Gbadamosi and the likes, but it appears the industry is fast beginning to experience a new wave of change with the creative ingenuity of young lads such as Kamal Adisa, Abayomi Lamiwa and Simisola Babalola who have shown that indeed ‘the glass ceiling can be broken’.

At the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, where an exhibition themed, Tokunbo was held on Saturday, December 30th, 2017, the trio of Kamal, Lamiwa and Simisola showcased their works, bringing to bear their ingenuity in different aspects of art.

For Kamal Adisa, who is a Nigerian born Visual Artist, the exhibition created an avenue to demonstrate his painting skills in reflection of his African roots. Speaking on the motivation for his works, Adisa noted that a predominant part of them was informed by his environment – the African socio-cultural environment.


Kamal Adisa, with one of his works

“Some of the paintings you see today were inspired by the environment where I grew up. Almost everything in Nigeria holds a rich pool of history and my love for searching the stories behind them inspires me to create art with a deep cultural meaning,” Adisa said.

As against the notion of a second-hand material from abroad, for which “Tokunbo” is widely regarded in Nigeria, the young artist noted that being away from Nigeria for studies had made himself and his friends understand that foreign ideas being customized to the Nigerian culture makes them a special type of “Tokunbo”, which should be appreciated for its artistic expressions which mostly puts on display the present state of Nigeria.

Kamal Adisa with his friends and parents at the exhibition

Meanwhile, the trio who are made up of two male visual artists and a visual storyteller, have since been receiving plaudits for their creative ingenuity on the exhibition. One of the dignitaries who graced the occasion, Omo-Oba Yemisi Shyllon expressed delight at the creativity witnessed at the exhibition. Shyllon, who is Africa’s leading art collector, expressed gladness that these new breeds of art lovers are ready to take the world by storm through their artistic wizardry.

Shyllon also commended the parents of the trio for supporting their wards to develop this globally appreciated skill. Other dignitaries present at the exhibition include the son of late business mogul, Kola Abiola, Chief Executive Officer of Noah’s Ark Communication Limited, Lanre Adisa and his wife, Adewunmi Fawehinmi, Bukky Asehinde, CEO of and her husband, amongst others.

Kamal Adisa is a student of Communication Design at New York-based Parson School of Design. He showcased a collection of about 20 different paintings made on the Ankara fabric as canvas, while Abayomi Lamiwa, a law student at UK’s Lancaster University presented some of his unique paintings like “Queen Idiat,” “Fela,” “Sango”, “Obinrin” and many others.

On her own, 17-year-old Simisola Babalola, who clinched the 2017 Best Female Photographer award at the Nigeria Teens Choice Award, showcased stunning works of photography including those of an old, now demolished house at Epe-Tedo; a motor park at Ojodu Berger amongst other images.

A cross section of guest at the exhibition

Kamal Adisa works being exhibited

Kamal Adisa works being exhibited


Another of Kamal Adisa’s works


Written by PH

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