By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigeria’s leading and celebrity pencil artist, Mr Alesh Akeem, who is currently on tour for his project ‘Celebrating 10 Kings’, has been received by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.
Mr Akeem was received by the top Yoruba monarch at his palace and also got royal blessings. Oba Adeyemi III did not only bless the pencil artist and his works, but also took him down the line of history being a ‘Professor of Ancient and Modern history’.
The Alaafin noted that as Africa continues to re-write its history and stride into the millennium, there is urgent need for leaders in the continent to begin a systematic documentation of what they have in the name of cultural property.
These, he pointed out, should include objects made by forefathers, the monuments of the land and things created by us today that would become of historic importance tomorrow.
“Africa is opening up herself to the world in a way that she had never done in the past. We are no longer ‘the Dark Continent’ and Africans are no longer ‘the primitives’.
“The civilizations that once flourished in Africa have become the issue in the Art world today. Hence, the head-count of our cultural property should be properly and fully documented in this regard,” Oba Adeyemi emphasized.
The ‘Celebrating 10 King’s Project’, an initiative of Alesh Akeem and his management, The RedAce Company, is aimed at recognizing 10 traditional rulers in Africa with outstanding excellence, and by extension showcasing the Nigerian monarchical system to other parts of the world.
According to a representative of Mr Akeem’s management, Olubunmi Adeyera, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III is being recognized in the project for his continuous effort in maintaining peaceful co-existence between the citizens of the Yoruba nation and other cultural denominations in Nigeria.
Mr Akeem noted that kings are the custodians of culture who have taken it upon themselves to ensure that cultural heritage is being transferred from one generation to another, therefore they deserve to be celebrated globally.
He disclosed that a life-size hyper-realistic pencil masterpiece of the traditional ruler would be drawn and presented to him as a monument.
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