Sunday, 10 November 2019

Modupe Oduyoye an ordinary man with extra ordinary determination




Our poor mentality makes us believe that only those in agbada or with a BIG car, or with body guards are important. Every day I look up to meeting ordinary people with extra ordinary determinations who are impacting positively to mankind. I first met Mr Modupe Oduyoye, pls allow me to use the title Professor for him in 2011 at a book fair and I introduced my daughter Amb Oluebube Sharon James to him, he was happy to see her, I promised to make a follow up in our meeting, but I lost his contact. I met him again at the 21st Lagos Book & Art Festival in Freedom Park. We talked for almost an hour. I present to you an enigma. 




He told me how he studied English language, Latin and History at the University College, Ibadan, from 1954 to 58. He was interested in reading ‘Special Physics’. He later worked as an English language, English literature, Latin and History teacher at Ibadan Boys High School for 5 years, during which he became the General Secretary of Christian Movement of Nigeria. He later went to Yale Divinity School from 1963 to 66 and studied Theology. He also thought Yoruba language on part time basis for the Extra Mural Department of University of Ibadan. Speaking to me he holds a very strong view that if 6000 years ago no continent except Africa was populated because it’s the only place you get the largest area of warm climate, and life survives easier in warm climate. Then life began in Africa and from here, spread to other parts of the world through the horn of Africa.



He holds a Doctor of Divinity the Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology and Church Administration Madras India, September 1990; Doctor of Theology State University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, January 1991; Doctor of Theology, University of Western Cape South Africa, September 1998; Doctor of Divinity, Chicago Theological Seminary, April 2001; Doctor of Divinity, Yale University, June 2008; Doctor of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, September 2009; Doctor of Theology, Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, Akrofi-Christella, Akropong-Akuapem, Ghana, December 2009; Doctor of Theology, University of the Free State, South Africa July 2015; Doctor of Theology University of Basel, Switzerland, November 2015. 




Some of his books include: ‘Yorùbá numeration system’; ‘Archbishop Carey in Zamfara State’; ‘Words & meaning in Yoruba religion’; ‘The sons of the gods and the daughters of men’; ‘Claiming the promise’; ‘The vocabulary of Yoruba religious discourse’; ‘Yoruba names, their structure and their meanings’; ‘Yoruba names’; ‘Adeolu Adegbola’; ‘The Psalms of Satan’; ‘The churches' responsibility for understanding Islam and the Muslims in Africa’; ‘The shariyʻah debate in Nigeria’; ‘Le-mah sabach-tha-niy?’; ‘The alphabetical psalms




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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

HOW SAPELE WAS RE-DISCOVERED BY THE COLONIAL MASTERS


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Sapele is a Local Government Area (LGA) in Delta state, its headquarters/capital is also located in Sapele, a city on the Benin River just below the confluence of the Ethiope River and Jamieson River. It was originally a small village of the Urhobo or "Okpe" people.

Senator Dafinoni (son of the soil)


The first Deputy Commissioner and Vice-Consul in charge of the Benin River District was Captain H. L. Gallwey on October 27, 1891, he carried out a survey of the Urhobo Oil markets along the Ethiope River, accompanied by Mr. S. Munro of the African Association, they proceeded on the voyage for the survey in a launch hired from Messrs Bey and Zimmer, a German trading firm at Benin River. They left Consulate at 10 a.m. reached Sapele by 6 p.m. anchored for the night-roughly 55 miles from Consulate and 60 mile from the mouth of the river. This is Captain H. L. Gallwey report, describing Sapele: "The anchorage here is deep and roomy, and the ground high, though one mass of forest. A most suitable spot to establish factories especially as all the produce from the Sobo markets passes here on the way to the towns near the mouth of the river. I consider Sapele to be a very good place to establish a Vice-Consulate, constabulary barracks, A great deal of clearing would be necessary to prepare the site, but this would afford work to the natives, and consequently be beneficial to someone. "By means of a launch all the markets could be reached in a very short time; a launch drawing 6 feet of water could go about 3 miles past Eku. The river water at Sapele is fresh, and one is well clear of the mangrove and fever swamps of the coast. Steamers drawing 14 to 15 feet of water could run up to Sapele. These steamers could tranship cargo to and from the larger steamers in the Forcados River.” 

Sir Ola Rotimi (son of the soil)

Major Claude Maxwell Macdonald, the Commissioner and Consul-General visited Sapele on the 14th November, 1891, and approved the site as being eminently suitable. In his Despatch No. 30 the Foreign Office, dated 12th December, 1891, the Major said "I consider Sapele would be a very good situation for the establishment of a constabulary station; the ground is high, and though covered with forest, could be easily cleared. The people of Sapele informed me that if I would come and build there, they would clear as much ground as I wished." That was the historic decision that made Sapele Village the modern Township it came to be in later years.

one of the old colonial structures with woods, still standing
In 1891, the British government established a vice-consulate at Sapele, without waiting to first established the Constabulary station as proposed, they used a temporary means, a ship named the "Hindustan" bought at Bristol was sailed to Benin River. There it was dismantled, fitted up as a hulk, and towed to the Sapele anchorage. The hulk was said to have provided excellent accommodation for four Europeans, a Customs Office, a Consular Court, a Treasury, a Prison and Barracks for civil police. While the machinery of Government began in the hulk, the excellent site opposite the anchorage was being cleared for the construction of barracks to accommodate sixty men and a detachment of Protectorate troops under an English Officer. That was in 1892. To live and work in a hulk might be an innovation at Sapele, but the idea was certainly not a new one to Europeans, especially European traders in the Oil Rivers. By its strategic location, Sapele, was considered to be an important military and administrative station for the projection of power and authority. As such it became a cosmopolitan city and attracted people from many Nigerian ethnic groups who came and settled; today we have streets named after some of the ethnic groups in Nigeria. 

swimming pool section in the old colonial building 


In 1926 the British colonial government held a census, in which only the men were counted, the result of the census was later used as bases for taxing the men. In April 1927, government took measures to enforce the Native Revenue (Amendment) Ordinance on the citizens. A colonial resident, W. E. Hunt, was commissioned by the Lieutenant Governor of Nigeria to explain the provisions and objects of the new Ordinance to the people throughout the five provinces in the Eastern Region. This was to prepare the ground for the introduction of direct taxation due to take effect in April 1928, for men in south-eastern Nigeria. On September 27, 1927, while the Officer Administrating the government from Sapele visited Sabo in the present Edo State, he announced the introduction of tax to be paid by the men, some of the men who came to welcome him, objected. The Colony Police contingent stationed at Sobo opened fire on what they described as mob reaction to the Administrative Officer. The Acting Inspector General fired first shot into the air and one of his officers followed by firing into the crowd and he killed a Sabo man instantly while others got injured. The other Sobo’s did not take the killing likely and this led to the police arresting some of them, the police beat up another Sobo man to the point of death and the result was a riot that spread through Sapele, Forcados and Burutu. Markets were closed down and the police continued night patrols all of the towns. After the incident in Sabo, Mr C W Duncan, resumed work officially as the Inspector General of the Southern Province Police Force. Major F. H. Ruxton, C.M.G., the Lieutenant-Governor of the Southern Provinces, retired on the 14th March, and was succeeded on May 15th by Mr. C. W, Alexander, and he announced that there will be a fresh census in areas around Warri, Owerri, Onitsha, Calabar and Ogoja Provinces.

take a look at the foundation of the wood building 

While driving around in Sapele my host showed me the burial site of the world Guinness book accountant David Dafinone. Sapele has produced many other great personalities including David Defiagbon - Olympic boxing silver medallist; Peter Dedevbo - Nigerian U20- Women's National team Head Coach; Olusoji Fasuba – sprinter; Ola Rotimi – playwright; Blessing Okagbare – athlete; Kefee - gospel singer and composer; Endurance Ojokolo – athlete; Kenneth Eyemi - US military officer; Anthony Oghenedoro Akoria – preacher; Austin Opubor – politician; Chief J.Y Odebala esq. -Oviolo of Okpe kingdom and Gwen  - Nigerian King of Queens.

Sapele Atheletic club 1913


I visited the oldest golf club in Nigeria in the corner of Chichester Road, now known as Sapele Athletic Golf Club which was once known as Sapelo and later Sapilo Golf Club. It was established 7 years after the first settlement of the colonial masters in Sapele and that was in in 1898, it was to while away boredom by the men staying inside the Hindustan -hulk in Sapele. In preparation of the amalgamation of the Protectorates of Nigeria and the Colony, the Chairman of Elder Dempster - Sir Owen Philip (KGMG)  and Directors of the company in 1913 donated a trophy to the “Sapelo Golf Club” and urged them to plan a tournament to celebrate the unification of Nigeria. 



standing at the Golf club

The club embarked on planning its first major tournament which was rounded up in June 1914 and won by H.M. Mansfield. The second tournament was held in 1916 and won by S.D. Fraser, 1919 edition was won by J.W. Maskew. The 1922 and 1923 editions were won by D.J. Martins, 1931 was won by R.C Little. 1933 was won by Dr T.B. Mcalear, 1934 was won by C.D. Avy and so many other tournaments and wins

the golf club


The River Ethiope, I was told that the river originates from a community called Umuaja and flows through several others before joining the sea at Sapele. The River is shared by four local government councils namely Ukwuani, Ethiope East, Okpe and Sapele, it is about 50km long. I was also told that this river should be among the Wonders of the World, for it originated from the foot of a giant silk-cotton tree at Umuaja in Ukwuani Local Government Area, Delta State. It is said to be the deepest inland waterway in Africa. By the time it gets to Sapele through Abraka from Umuaja, it has become so deep to harbor ocean-going vessels. At most of the points where the river runs across, one could see the bottom of the water from the bank. This had given some people a false sense of shallowness of the river to their peril. Fishes are seen swimming enthusiastically in the water, but rapidly spin out of reach on noticing human presence. River Ethiope is home to a great biodiversity of plants and animals. The river provides ecosystem services such as flood control, climate change regulation, recreation, spiritual homage, water supply, food, research and education, medicine, building materials to many communities through which it passes. Though all these being seriously hampered as result of development pressure and consequences of climate change driven by poverty, ignorance. I was told that the source of the river, the giant silk-cotton tree at Umuaja is said to be wrapped with yards of white and red clothes while different sacrificial objects brought by suppliants are seen around the tree by worshipers at the Onoku shrine and the chief priest - Chief Esinobi David, who is always garbed in red, seats at the entrance, to help worshipers for the spiritual affiliation attached, some areas of the groove surrounding the river source are restricted to visitors with a footpath leading to the grove.



an sold building still standing and abandoned 

This building in the heart of Sapele main market, is said to have been built in the 1800s by a man whose wife had about six miscarriages before she eventually had a baby and he named the baby "Olumaro" and named the house after the baby meaning' how many can I think of?



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Monday, 4 November 2019

NAFEST 2019 - THE BEAUTY OF NIGERIA IN HER MULTI-ETHNIC AND MULTI-CULTURE SOCIETY


The 2019 National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), has come and gone from October 19th to 26th in Benin City. It was the biggest Arts and Culture event in Nigeria, the Benin edition was the 32nd edition since inception but it was the first time NAFEST program was hosted in Edo State in the last 40 years. Interestingly, the festival coincided with the 3rd coronation anniversary of the Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpokpolo, the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.

declaring NAFEST 2019 open

In preparation of the event, some of us who were accustomed to different parts of Benin City, noticed that the city was adorned with bright colours and landmark cultural artworks. The State Governor His Excellency Godwin Obaseki led top government dignitaries, artistes including:  Seventy-eight-year-old legendary musician - Professor Sir Victor Uwaifo; Nigerian pop star Innocent Idibia, aka 2Baba to the officially opening of the event for NAFEST 2019 on the 19th of October 27, 2019. Also there were displays performances by the Combatant team of the Nigerian Army Women Corp, Silent Drill Platoon and the Guard Brigade Band of the Army, the Nigerian Army Women Corps stole the show. About twenty-six states participated in this year’s opening parade, all the states that participated displayed their various traditional dances and in traditional attires. 

The Oba of Benin and the Governor of Edo State 


Governor Obaseki, in his opening address, described the hosting of NAFEST 40 years after it started as “a return to the home of culture” in the country. In his words: “Today, we are celebrating Edo State because, 40 years after this festival had been born, it is coming to the home of culture. He also noted that Edo State is not only the home of culture in Nigeria but the entire African continent. We are very happy because this festival is a source of unity for Nigeria. Culture is a means of uniting our people,”

Prof Victor Uwaifo and Otunba Runsewe


The Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said the display of the rich culture of Nigeria at the opening ceremony of NAFEST was an indication that God loves Nigeria. Speaking further at the University of Benin Sports Complex, Ugbowo, Benin, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe said that National Council for Arts and Culture was determined to use empowerment programme to take teeming unemployed youths off the streets and make them productive members of the society. He said that this was part of the vision of the council to make culture a key player in the nation’s economic growth. He further explained that culture was capable of creating mass employment and empowering the people in line with the economic diversification policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. “It is in the light of this that we have expanded the scope of the festival to include skills acquisition programmes. “The essence of this is to train youths, women, the physically challenged and other vulnerable members of the society in various skills in arts and crafts. He described NAFESTE as “The platform for talent hunt, identifying, nurturing and training of young Nigerians who have exhibited unique expertise in various areas in our competitive events,”
Otunba Segun Runsuwe glad in his Oba's Coronation outfit 


The State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Osemwengie Ero, in his welcome address, promised that the festival would provide further cultural integration among the states of the federation, and it sure did.
Oba Akenzua Cultural Center

Several sites were selected for the event based on their historic as well as captivating importance, they included the Oba Akenzua Cultural Center, Igun Street, the University of Benin Sports Complex, Oba’s Palace and Benin Golf Club. 

Oba of Benin playing golf at the Benin Golf Club

At the Benin Golf Club, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, Oba of Benin, the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture Otunba Runsewe and other dignitaries were seen playing the Royal Golf Tourney.
the crowd 
The people of Benin City came out en-mass to contribute to the successful hosting of the event, very friendly with almost everybody we met at the event and outside in the town.


Dr Raphael James at the National Museum 

As the explorer that I am, I could not stay in place as I criss-crossed round Benin, I visited areas like: Five Junction, Urubi, Iyaro,  Akpakpava Road, Ring Road, Ogba Zoo, the National Museum and even sneaked to Sapele in Delta State.

Dr. Lizi Ben Iheanocho with the the Amayanabo of Mbanmiri and his Queen


From my observation, I may want to put the capacity of crowd for the 6 days program to an estimated 30,000 visitors, cutting across tourists and guests from different parts of Nigeria and neighbouring countries. The list of guests are commendable, I may not know all that attended but I was able to pick up some few faces like: His Excellency, The Vice President of Nigeria Prof Yemi Osibanjo, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Deputy Governor of Edo state, The wife of the Enugu Governor, Hon Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Diaspora Affairs of Edo State - Hon. Osaze Osemwengie-Ero, Prof the legendary musician Victor Uwaifo, Innocent Idibia, aka 2face, Amb Lancelot, Princess Patricia Eweka of the Benin Royal House, the Amayanabo of Mbanmiri and his Queen.

Town hall meeting with the Vice President 

The vice president and other dignitaries reacts at the Town Hall meeting 

Vice President enjoying the hospitality of NAFEST 2019 


The event covered different cultural activities showcasing and celebrating Nigeria’s rich and diverse culture as a united people, including: Children's Essay Writing Competition, which focused on "Five Reasons why I'm proud of my Royalty" 17 States participated in it. There was the Children's Crafts Competition, Celebration of Royal Splendor, and Poetry in our local tongues. Also there were competitive and non-competitive events like Culture Quiz Competition for Secondary Schools, Indigenous Fabrics in Royal Apparel Competition, Free Skills Acquisition, Drama Competition on the theme ‘Our Royalty, Our Pride’. There was a traditional wrestling competition.



Dr. Lizi Ben Iheanacho cross checking the traditional dishes 

skill training 

Dress making, as part of the skill training  

traditional wrestling 

The non-competitive events were the Stakeholders Roundtable on Entrepreneurship of which my 14 years old son was one of the Resources persons. He spoke on “Photography – Hobby to a Profession”. The young man walked up on stage with so much confidence, opened his presentation with a musical rendition by Ed Sheeran, titled ‘Photograph’ in which he sang the lyrics and played his guitar alongside. His presentation which was on slide for easy comprehension lasted for about 30 minutes, as he talked, he demonstrated with his camera. His presentation started with the definition of Photography, which he described as “as the art, application and practice of creating durable images with a camera”. He told his audience that  “there is no photography without a camera”. Then he defined a camera, using the Oxford English Dictionary definition that, “a camera is a device that produce an image on film, paper, or another medium”. He went on to tell the crowd how in about 2, 300 years ago Aristotle wrote about the camera obscura, as being a device that produced only light without image, and how  in 1827, Joseph Niépce modified the camera to be able to produce a photographic plate, making him the inventor of the first camera to produce an actual photo. He also informed them how Niepce had refused to disclose the process he was using to produce images and how in 1829, that is about 190 years ago, he went into partnership with Louis Mandé and they made the first commercial camera. The crowd was amazed when he displayed a sample of Niepce vintage camera which is dated 1892, about 127 years old. He also explained the difference between Niepce 1892 camera and Mr. Russell of the USA 1957 first digital camera. The young photographer also had some of his works on display at the venue
Ikemsinachukwu got a handshake from the DG Otunba Runsewe


Ikemsinachukwu Jordan James got a standing ovation after his talk, in fact in the words of Dr. Elizabeth Ben Iheanacho – The Director of Research and Documentation of National Council for Arts and Culture, she described him thus: “A young boy who clicking his way into national and world reckoning. Dubbed "The Youngest Professional Photographer" by the highland influential Guardian Newspaper, Ikemsinachukwu Jordan James was one of the three resources persons at the NAFEST 2019 Roundtable on Entrepreneurship. The young boy challenged his peers to find a hobby they can honestly turn into a skill and turn into a profession like he's doing while getting on with education, living life and making money as he smiles. His performance so thrilled and wowed his audience that the Director General of NCAC pronounced him the official photographer of INAC 2019. INAC is the International Arts and Crafts Expo, a major platform for networking Nigerian crafts to the world. It attracts participation from all foreign embassies in Nigeria”. Ikemsinachukwu received the “Outstanding Young Entrepreneur Award at the Closing Ceremony of NAFEST 2019 on Saturday, 26th October, 2019. “


Dr Lizi Ben Iheanacho with the young Ikemsinachukwu after his presentation


There was a woman who was referred to as mama akara. Madam Robinson told us her story in order to encourage other women and young ladies, she has been frying akara for years and use it to train her children through higher institutions all the way from Kano to Benin. She explained thus "From Kano, we come return to Benin. Ehn no easy at all. I first try sell rice but I come see say na akara I fit do well. I come change, get my things ready, I will wake up wash mortar very well and boil oil well, well because different oil dey but na good ones I dey use. I mean red oil. Some people dey run for fire but if you get money, make you use gas instead way you go try to go cross desert and die for there."
Madam Robinson frying her akara at the venue, courtesy of Otumba Runsewe who asked her to fry
 for everybody who cares to eat and he will pay 


There was also Ambassador Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, the director and producer, known for ABCs of Death 2, Home in Exile, Invasion 1897 and Isakaaba 1-4. His presentation was most captivating and straight from the heart.
Ambassador Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen with Ikemsinachukwu


There were free medical screening such as eye screening, body massage index, blood sugar test and more.



I noticed that the Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA) were fully represented at the NAFEST with art exhibition, conference, talk shop, paper presentation, cultural carnival, and workshop.  The Art Exhibition themed was ‘Multidisciplinary Approach to the Issue of Societal Egalitarianism’ and it was held at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin, Benin City, and the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre. The Edo state children contingent performed a stage dance drama where they showcased cultural and historical values of the Oba of Benin. NAFEST brought out the best of Arts and Culture and these were displayed through dozens of means including: paintings, sculptures, graphics, ceramics, prints, digital art, photography, metal design, textiles, drawings, mixed media and installations, culinary celebration among others. Even the Food Court and Live Band Stand areas displayed our culture with lots of traditional Cuisines and music of years to year. The Vice president of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo took advantage of NAFEST and held a Town hall meeting and interface with the artists and creative sector, including market women. He encouraged the audience to use culture to empower people and also to grow the state economy among other issue on development.
Benin royalty on display female

Benin Royalty on display make 

Ambassador Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen decorates Mr. Soni Irabor

Otunba Segun Runsewe, the tourism giant  





On the 21st I had walked into the auditorium of Oba Akenzua 11 Cultural Center and behold I witnessed a drama “The fall of Nekighidi a Benin historical drama by Osa Earliece” I was impressed with what I saw on stage.

A play in action at NAFEST 2019


The event came to an end in a colorful ceremony on the 26th of September. By all indications, it was obvious that the 2019 edition of the NAFEST, consolidate Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s reforms in boosting tourism through arts and culture, which is one of the six thematic pillars of his administration in Edo State.

Colourful display of beauties 


Rivers state team


River State was judged the overall winner of NAFEST 2019, the Ogun State Council of Arts and Culture won 4 awards in various categories as participant. Certificates of participation were presented to the participants of the 4 Days Skills Acquisitions Programme organised by NCAC at the Cultural Centre, this was done by Otunba Segun Runsewe - the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC).



Ekiti state team with Dr Lizi Ben Iheanacho

I agree totally with the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, that: “There is no reason for us to disagree on anything. The beauty of Nigeria is in her multi-ethnic and multi-culture society.” 
 
My humble self with the Tourism Giant Otunba Runsewe, the man with great tourism foresight 








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Sunday, 3 November 2019

Prof Victor Efosa Uwaifo - music maestro, sculptor, philosopher, poet and musical instrument inventor

With Prof Sir Victor Uwaifo after he presented to me some historic documents


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you - Professor Victor Efosa Uwaifo  Ph.D ,MON, JP. His professional qualities and accomplishments, as well as rich combinations of talents  and  skills, stand him out as a man of unique multidimensionality. He is an illustrious son and  brand that has brought pride and respectability to Nigeria. Employing the universal language of music, he has promoted national unity and social harmony across religious and ethnic barriers. He possesses a depth of knowledge about social issues, which he shares without condescending to ignoble tendencies. Since he came to limelight and public consciousness, he has remained constant in the firmament among the constellation of stars. He’s a quintessential, information and communications technology personage of our generation a century ahead of time. His music never fades and never lacks harmony. His artworks demonstrate great splendor, extreme grandeur, unparalleled and exemplary grandiloquence. He is a gift to mankind.



In a handshake with prof Sir Victor Uwaifo


He is a music maestro, sculptor, philosopher, poet and musical instrument inventor. His “Joromi” hit song released in 1965, won for Nigeria the first Gold Disc Record ever to come out of the continent of Africa in a competitive world. Sir Uwaifo is the first Benin man to receive the Nigerian National Honours; Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 1983, for his contributions to creativity and industry. He was appointed and sworn-in as Justice of the Peace (JP) 1990. He is also the first and foremost Honourable Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism in Nigeria (Edo State), former lecturer in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin. He was honoured with an award in 2018 by the Association of Nigerian Musicologists for his outstanding music performance and leadership. He’s the Silverbird Man of the Year 2015 and honourary Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, the highest literary academic body in Nigeria. Education: National Diploma (Graphics},Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, 1963, BA Hon (First Class), 1995, Masters degree (MFA) sculpture, 1997, Ph.D (Visual Arts), University of Benin, Nigeria. Project Title: Production of Architectural Sculpture in Nigeria: A Re-Invention of Ancient Benin Royal Altar Pieces into Contemporary Art Using Synthetic Polymer Materials
Professor Victor Uwaifo stands out today, intellectually sound both in mind and body as the most educated performing music icon in the world and the most read contemporary superstar still relevant over 50 years on stage till date. He has over 600 songs and 100 records to his credit with 8 gold and 2 silver awards. Each record is music of serious research and philosophical work equivalent to academic journal. He’s a member of the Performing Rights Society of London (PRS), a trustee of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).  In 2016, Victor Uwaifo was inducted into the Grammy Award Museum in Los Angelis, USA. He has inspired generations of musicians in Nigeria and beyond and still counting. 

a golden statue of Sir Victor Uwaifo done by him  


He is documented in the Dictionary of Music and Musicians, volume 8, documented in “Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth and also “Who is “Who in Nigeria”. The Nigerian Television Authority celebrated him to mark his 50 years on stage, broadcast live to the world over a decade ago (2006) in Abuja. Western Nigeria Television, Ibadan, (WNTV) first in Africa has also awarded him a Gold Trophy in appreciation of his immense services in 1971. Professor Victor Uwaifo is the President and Founder of Revelation Palazzo Museum and Victor Uwaifo Academy of Music, Benin City, Nigeria.

specially designed guitars by Sir Victor 



DISCOVERIES, ACADEMIC RESEARCH AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE . 
He has made many discoveries and contributions to knowledge in the following areas: He propounded the theory of sight and sound, the relativity and the transposition of the seven colours of the rainbow into musical notes and the creation of (Akwete) Joromi music recorded and released in 1965 that won for Nigeria the first Gold Disc in Africa. He discovered the cloning of human teeth in sculpture with local materials. He created elephant ivory tusk by a method of simulation with synthetic polymer materials.
He invented the 360 degrees revolving Magic Guitar, the first and only one in the world today. He also invented the 18 strings double-neck guitar as far back as 1967, fashioned after the mermaid (mammy-water) esoteric experience, at the Barbeach, in Lagos. He developed a guitar/keyboard combined that can play self- accompanied melodies. (1995) He designed and constructed an aircraft Boeing 727 house in Benin City, first in Africa. He also designed the architecture of his Superstar Highgate building in Benin City, regarded as one of the weirdest homes in the world, which he prides himself as having the largest bedroom in Africa. It has a sprawling space of 1500 square feet about the size of a medium lawn tennis court, verified by BBC crew and was featured on BBC Channel 4 London, 2018. He introduced gymnastics, stage showmanship and dance dynamism into music performance in Nigeria and beyond over fifty years ago and still doing it till date.
He is a philosopher, publisher and author of books which cut across Arts, Philosophy, Autobiography, Poetry and Tourism. He also runs the Victor Uwaifo Music Academy, Benin City, Nigeria.
He designed the first motorized giant Kinetic Sculpture in Nigeria, “The Royal Dance” in front of Oba Akenzua II Cultural Complex, Benin City, with spectacular features of Eben (scimitar royal swords) rotating in its hand and torso. This is a huge breakthrough, synergy of a sculptural interface with engineering.

My son Ikemsinachukwu standing by Victor Uwaifo's keyboard Guitar 


HIS professional career and work experience cut across working for NTA, Lagos (NTS) as it then was, from 1963-1965 as a graphic artist and assistant Head of the Department of Graphics. He was commissioned to represent Nigeria at the African Algier’s Festival of ARTS held in Algeria in 1969. Subsequently, in 1970, Victor Uwaifo was again commissioned by the Nigerian government on a musical trip to Japan for her trade fair band stand at the EXPO ’70 in Osaka, Japan. Again, in 1973, the Nigerian government took Victor Uwaifo and his Melody Maestros on a Cultural Exchange World Tour to Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Moscow Russia, Ukraine and Italy. 
my son standing by the statue of Sir Victor 



He has showcased command performances in State Houses and Aso Rock, Abuja, on several occasions Presidential Ball on the occasion of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s swearing-in ceremony 2011 is a point of reference.



Sir Victor's album 



He served as the first Honourable Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism in Edo State and member of the State Executive Council from 2000-2003. He was Nigeria’s sole musical flag bearer that performed during the Commonwealth Summit held at the Commonwealth Institute, London in 1973. He led his Melody Maestros to become Nigeria’s N0 1 showcase and musical exponent at the World Black Festival of Arts and Culture, “FESTAC 77” which show reverberated around the world.
He was the Chairman: Bendel Arts Council, Bendel State  1984-1986 and subsequently, the Chairman of Edo State Board of Arts Council 2010/2011. He belongs to two worlds of professionalism: Visual Arts (sculpture) and the Performing Arts (musicology) with a flair for architecture and inventions. He has executed several works of sculpture in public places, which were commissioned by state governments and private bodies, both North and South of Nigeria and today, he’s often referred to as an institution, genius, a living legend and National Human Treasure. He has contributed immensely to pedagogy and scholarship and impacted his knowledge on students as a lecturer at the University of Benin. Incidentally, his own biological son Alexander Osamu Uwaifo was one of his 400 level students, in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts 2014.


Sir Victor on stage with his dancer


As far back as 1970 he had enjoyed international recognitions and one  of  such was  the  invitation  extended to  him  by  President  Kenneth   Kaunda of Zambia to a dinner on 19th October, 1970, in the United Nations Main Delegates Dinning Hall, West Terrace, N.Y. USA.  List of commissioned art projects by state governments and private bodies handled by Prof Uwaifo:
The Cenotaph at the Parade Ground in Yola, Adamawa State.
Cenotaph in Maiduguri, Borno State.                                                                                        
Cenotaph in Makurdi, Benue State.                            
Cenotaph, Isaac Boro Park, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Unknown Soldier Cenotaph, Abeokuta, Ogun State.                                            
State House Beautification, Sculptural Giant Eagle, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State.                              
Pilgrimage Ground (45 giant statues) Stations of the Cross, Igarra, Edo State
The Grotto, (Stations of the Cross) Holy Cross Cathedral, Benin City.                             
Holy Mary Statue: Saint Benedict’s Church, Ijebu-Ode. 
Stations of the Cross, Catholic Church, Agenebode, Edo State.
Sculptural Beautification: Catholic Church, Igiode and Ubiaja, Edo State.                             
Chief Iginedion’s (Esama of Benin) Giant statue at IUO, Okada, Edo State.                           
Giant Eagle at the Eleganza Plaza, Apapa, Lagos.    
Stained glass painting: Saint John’s Anglican Church, Benin City.                           
Oba Akenzua II twice-life-size statue: Cultural Complex, Benin City.                                    
The Giant Eagle in front of the Palm Royal Hotel, Ugbowo, Benin City.  


Sir Victor on stage 

                          
The Royal Altar Pieces Sculptural Project: University of Benin, Benin City.                                               
Over 100 Statues at the Revelation Palazzo Museum, Benin City.
He has received over one hundred awards and recognitions, including:
Distinguished Alumnus Awards: University of Benin,- 2002 and 2008
Rotary International Fellow Award 2001, to humanity- 2003, 2018.
Association of Nigerian Authors and Publishers Award – 1994
Benin National Merit Award for uplifting the Benin heritage values -2007
Institute of Independent Marketing Management of Nigeria Award-1996 Award Certificate of Honour by the House of Representatives, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. -1997
Member: Advisory Board, Biographical Council, Cambridge, England.
Member: Advisory Council, American Heritage University, C.A; USA-2006
Doctor of Literature D.Litt.(honors causa) University of Benin -2009


one of his album 


CERTIFICATES OF HONOUR AND MERIT
Nigeria International Song Festival (NISOFES) Golden Song Award- (1999)
Niger Delta Legendary Award- (2013)
Federal Ministry of Information and Culture Certificate for Creativity-(1996)
University of Nigeria, Nsukka Silver Jubilee Certificate of Excellence- (1986)                                                                                                                 
Actors Guild of Nigeria Certificate of Merit for contributions to Showbiz-(2005)                                           
Edo Club Certificate for Contributions to the Heritage of Edo People – (1983)                                               
Coalition of Civil Society in Nigeria Heroic Award – (2016)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
University of Ibadan Sigma Club, Havana Music Carnival Award-(1975)                                                                                     
University of Lagos, Edo Students Association Certificate of Honour- (2001)                                                                                                                
Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) Genius Award- (2018)                                                                                                                                 
Independence Hall of Fame (Dreamspash Award) of Excellence- (2006)                                                                                                                              
Lifetime Award by City People Magazine Publishers- (2015)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Association of Sports, Science and Medicine (NASSM) Recognition Award-(2016)                                                                                         
Students Union Government (UNIBEN) Award for Hard Work and Art- (2008)
Legendary Award of Excellence by 24 Bits, United Kingdom- (2017)

the young Sir Victor Uwaifo



Sir Victor Uwaifo watches as my son receives an award from Otunba  Segun Runsewe

Prof and Dr James walk into his museum 

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