A 65-year-old Nigerian batik and textile designer who is a respected lecturer at Harvard University is an international symbol.
The Nigerian woman identified as Nike Okundaye makes the Africa and Nigeria proud with her creativity and talent despite the fact that the woman has no formal education as she dropped out of secondary school at a young age.
It was gathered that the woman who is from Ogidi, Kogi state learnt the craft of batik and textile design from her great-grandmother who was an “adire” (tie and dye) fabric designer.
She grew up in an environment that practiced weaving and dyeing of fabrics. Okundaye’s father Nicolas Ojo was also a basket weaver and a drummer. Before she became the symbolic icon she is today, Okundaye went through a hard life.
After dropping out, Okundaye began to teach herself at home. In an interview, she explained that her type of education was something that was passed down instead of taught.
She said: “The type of education I had at the time was the education that is passed from parents to their children not the education you get in a classroom. It was the practical type of education.”
The talented woman used her skills to build something creative. She has an art gallery that showcases her designs in Lagos and Abuja. Her ideas for paintings, adire designs, batik and beadworks are also used to teach students at her training centres. The centres are located in Kogi and Osun state.
Okundaye also teaches international students. She has trained a number of students from Europe, Canada and the United States.
NAIJ.com gathered that the talented artist has also received recognition from the White House. She was patronized by both Bill Clinton and George Bush.