by Linda Ikeji
Olayemi Olarinde Ayanfe, a young Nigerian award-winning visual artist who chose to specialize in a unique form of art – scribble art – is the exceptional Nigerian profiled in the 11th episode of First Class Material.
23-year-old Ayanfe discovered her talent by chance in 2015 when she was a student of Unilag. She attended an art event and was given a pen. Being a pencil artist at the time, she had no idea what to do, so she started drawing “jaga-jaga” and she realized she could scribble. From there, she started practising it and honed the talent.
Ayanfe said she started scribble art (popularly known as jaga-jaga) “as a form of frustration”. She said she was at a low point in her life at the time.
Ayanfe’s greatest challenge was getting her parents’ approval. When she began, her parents were not accepting of her talent. She said her mother initially thought she needed deliverance but they have now come around and are proud of her talent.
The second challenge she faced was the lack of appreciation for artists in Nigeria, especially artists who create her kind of art.
However, with time, people grew to appreciate her talent. She said her customers are mostly foreigners and very few Nigerians who appreciate her form of art.
Ayanfe has won numerous awards and her work has been exhibited in major art exhibitions.
Having found success in the art world, Ayanfe is giving back to society and she explained how she is doing this in the latest episode of First Class Material.
First Class Material is an LITV production, sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria. It profiles Nigerians who are doing exceptionally well in their field within and outside Nigeria.
Watch episode 11 below.