Art in the Diaspora

University of Michigan Names Omowunmi Dada as 2023 Global Artist in Residence

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Award-winning actress Omowunmi Dada has been chosen as the 2023 Global Artist in Residence at the African Studies Center (ASC) and the Department of Afro-American and African Studies (DAAS) at the University of Michigan in the United States.

In this role, she collaborates with DAAS language instructors to create audio-visual tools for teaching African languages. Dada actively engages with the University of Michigan campus community, local schools, and students of all levels in Southeast Michigan. She speaks at events to educate the next generation about Nigerian culture and Nollywood filmmaking. These events also help to promote cultural interchange and learning. The ASC and DAAS have warmly welcomed Dada, enhancing the university’s cultural and educational initiatives.

“Through this unique opportunity, I am excited to engage with faculty, staff, and students at the University of Michigan, sharing the rich tapestry of African culture and the incredible journey of the Nigerian movie industry, of which I am proud to be a part. Together, we will further explore the captivating stories, diverse traditions, and creative spirit that define Africa, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Africa and Africans in ways that promote the culture of collaboration between the United States and the continent of Africa,” she said.

ASC Director Prof. Omolade Adunbi also praised Dada as a transformative actor, crediting her with reshaping Nollywood and African filmmaking.

“Visiting our classrooms to share her wealth of experience with our students will further make Africa, the rich tradition of the continent, and the burgeoning film industry in Nigeria more visible on our campus,” he stated.

Omowunmi Dada holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A Hons) degree in Creative Arts from the University of Lagos. The Nigerian-born, award-winning Nollywood actress has graced screens and stages for nearly ten years. Her portrayal of Folake in the M-Net series Jemeji earned her renown. She starred in the award-winning 2017 Yoruba film Somewhere in the Dark. This earned her a Best Actress nomination at the Best of Nollywood Awards.

Dada voiced the lead character in Nigeria’s first full-length animation feature, Sade, in 2018. Besides acting, she is a voice-over artist, presenter, and model, with aspirations to direct and produce films. Dada’s career began in stage plays, notably Moremi Ajasoro. She further appeared in various TV series, including Married to the Game and Dere. She was nominated for Best Actress in Nigeria for her critically acclaimed performance in the stage production, Isale Eko.

In 2021, Dada starred in the short film Rebirth. She won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 8th Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in 2022 for the film Country Hard. Dada also serves as an ambassador for Daivyan Children’s Cancer Foundation and Brian Wotari Foundation.


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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