Queen of Textiles, Champion of Nigerian arts- Nike Davies-Okudaye Is An Embodiment Of Artistic Heritage

There’s no talking about arts in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large without recognizing Chief (Mrs) Nike Davies-Okundaye, she truly is an embodiment of the heritage. Once you see her, you see art, she walks, lives and breathes the artistic essence. Born on the 23rd of May 1951 in Ogidi-Ijumu, Kogi State, Nike was brought up to love the Western traditional weavings and dying, she was exposed to arts and crafts at a very young age. Her parents were both Musicians and Craftspeople, little wonder art lives in her. Having spent most of life in Osogbo, one of the recognized major centres for art and culture in Nigeria, Nike learned Indigo dying and Adire production informal training. Putting her much-coveted knowledge gained from her great-grandmother into use, Chief Nike founded the largest art gallery in West Africa which comprises of over 7,000 artworks. An embodiment of art, a charming philanthropist, Nike strives to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and women in Nigeria through her four art centers where she offers free training to young artists in Visual, musical and the performing arts. Chief Nike is known all over the world for promoting her designs through exhibitions and workshops in Nigeria, USA, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and the United Kingdom. It is said that Nike has trained over three thousand young Nigerians for free and also helps them start small and medium scale businesses across the country. Nike was awarded two Chieftancy titles of Yeye Oba of Ogidi-Ijimu and Yeye Tasase of Osogbo. Having read just up to primary 6 after which she stopped formal education, some of Nike’s arts are permanently displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum Of African Art in Washington DC, USA. With over 40 awards and artistic achievements, Chief Nike Davis-Okundaye is one of the many Nigerians promoting and championing the artistic movement in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. Photo Credit: Getty

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