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Nigeria 1914: An Artistic Celebration of Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day

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An upcoming art exhibition entitled “Nigeria 1914” is set to commemorate the nation’s 63rd Independence Day. The project director, Mr Akin Laniyi, said the exhibition will showcase Nigeria’s rich history, milestones, and iconic figures. The collection also features a variety of historical portraits, artefacts, and paintings, providing a comprehensive overview of the country’s past. The exhibition will cover the period of Nigeria’s history from the 1914 amalgamation to the 1960 independence. This event promises to be a significant contribution to the celebration of Nigeria’s Independence Day.

Queen Mother Pendant Mask (Iyoba). Photo Louvre

”Presenting Nigeria’s Diverse Opportunities, Potential, and Heritage on the Global Stage will take place from October 1 to October 14 at the Jabi Lake Mall, Abuja,” he said.

He stated that the project commemorates Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary, and has received endorsements and support from the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, as well as other relevant bodies.

“We felt that at a time like this, the country needs such a project because it will provoke our consciousness as a people to reflect on our great history and the much-needed social order.

“It will last for 14 days afromabi Lake Mall, starting on recentlyence day, and it aims to promote our education, nationhood, and good things about us as a richly diverse people.

“Each day of the exhibition will present Nigeria’s great potential and diverse opportunities state by state and institution by institution to a diverse audience, and three regional festivals will be celebrated at the event.

British soldiers with objects looted from the royal palace during the military expedition to Benin City in 1897. (British Museum)

The exhibition is set to open to the public, attracting attendees of diverse backgrounds, including dignitaries. Hannatu Musawa, the Minister of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, will serve as the Special Guest of Honour. Additionally, Nigerian artists from different regions of the country will participate in the event, as mentioned by Laniyi. The Nigeria 1914 exhibition, trade fair, and business forum would host guests from all backgrounds, including past and present leaders, inbound tourists, the diplomatic community, small and medium enterprises, the political class, and the general public

“Members of the diplomatic community, top government functionaries, patriotic Nigerians drawn from both the public and private sectors, and stakeholders in the creative industries will attend the exhibition,” he said.

He noted that the project aims to promote national unity and common history, and has been presented in major cities across the country, including Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Lagos. Plans to showcase the exhibition globally in cities such as Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Berlin, Sydney, New York, and Beijing have also been revealed. Furthermore, a Nigerian 1914 movie is currently in production.

“It is to present Nigeria, her people, opportunities, and potential on the global stage through iconic pictures, paintings, artefacts, and portraits.

“The Nigeria 1914 project will expose the majesty of unknown aspects of the Nigerian story and way of life that will resonate and touch hearts and consciences all over the world unforgettably.

While we cannot neglect the struggles of Nigeria today, this exhibition serves as a significant reminder of the obstacles we have successfully navigated as a nation.


Derrick Chidumebi is a creative writer and growth marketer hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and is the founder of The Eko Place, a media/marketing agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, he serves as a writer for Art News Africa.

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