Kelvin Ijiko, Audu Philip… meet the top six 2023 LIMCAF winners 

 Kelvin Ijiko, Audu Philip… meet the top six 2023 LIMCAF winners 

Six young artists walked home with N500,000 cash prizes at the recently concluded Life in myMyity Arts Festival (LIMCAF) in Enugu. The arts festival, sponsored by MTN Foundation, aims to celebrate young Nigerian artists in different art sectors and provides a platform for them to showcase their works. The theme for this year’s festival was “Fix It” with over 500 entries interpreting the theme in different categories.

Below are the six top winners from the 2023 Arts Festival: 

Kelvin Ijiko

Kelvin Mathew Ejiko hails from Benue State but works in Lagos as a visual artist. According to him, his artistic skills are God-given which Thich he has always had right from childhood. Over the years, Kelvin has sold several of his artworks within and outside Nigeria.

He participated in LIMCAF in 2022 before winning the prize for best painting/mixed media this year, for his artwork titled ‘Decayed Decades’. He also won the one million naira prize for the 2023 LIMCAF overall winner.

According to Kelvin, “Decayed decades for me simply examines the pains Nigerians have had to pass through in the past 10 years. You would also notice a distorted coat of arms which shows the current abnormal state of the country. The brain of the man being injected shows that to fix the country, we need to fix our mentality first.

Adebayo Ebenezer Seun 

Adebayo Ebenezer Seun from Jalingo has been an artist for over 20 years and has sold some of his artworks around Nigeria. His artwork titled, ‘The Assault’ won the prize for best digital art at the 2023 LIMCAF. 

According to Ebenezer, the artwork which is a video comprising the use of animation, spoken word, music, and special effects was inspired by an advanced leadership training, “Assault Course” (MAN ‘O’ WAR drill).

Speaking of his participation in this year’s festival, Ebenezer said, “LIMCAF was a wonderful experience, a very challenging task, but with determination and concentration I was able to create a very unique and outstanding piece.”

Oryina Priscilla Doowuese

Oryina Priscilla is a textile artist who has been practicing art for two years. Her artwork titled, ‘Almajiri Syndrome’ won the prize for best textile art/fashion.

According to her, her artwork which was made with yarn on jute symbolizes the Almajiri system which has deviated from its original purpose to become a syndrome that epitomizes child abuse, child labour, and chronic poverty.

Priscilla said, “Almajiri is Nigeria’s ticking bomb which needs to be dismantled. It is important to take persistent measures in eradicating any system that makes children vulnerable to being victims of all vices and brainwashed to fight against their nation. Children are the future of every nation and shouldn’t be groomed to become threats to humanity.”

Mayi Theophilus Ekoja

Mayi Theophilus has been an artist all his life but started working as a professional in 2020. He has a Higher National Diploma in sculpture from Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo State.

This year was Theophilus’ first time putting in for LIMCAF, and he won the prize for best sculpture/installation for his artwork titled ‘For the Rainy Days’. The artwork is a sculptural composition of a Squirrel and Ants on a tree trunk. According to Theophilus, the artwork is expected to open its viewers’ eyes to the reality of survival and to correct poor and nonchalant approaches to planning.

“The Squirrel and ants in their resourceful nature and quest for survival are seen gathering and storing food in their nest (tree trunk) for the rainy days (winter) when there is a scarcity of food thereby fixing any issue of starvation that may arise in the future,” he stated.

Nkwocha Ezichi Nnanyerugo 

Nkwocha Ezichi is a visual artist who has been practicing professionally since 2020. As an emerging artist, she has sold a few of her works in the past. His artwork titled, ‘Fix our Cultural Identity’ won the prize for best drawing at the 2023 LIMCAF.

The artwork which is a drawing on paper portrays a scene of uncertainty by a Nigerian lady through the display of various Nigerian traditional costumes fading away. According to Ezichi, the artwork entails the complexity and uncertainty of emotions experienced by Nigerians as a result of coexisting contemporary trends and traditions.  

Audu Philip Iko-OjoI 

Audu Philip is a recent graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, and he recently started his career as an artist.

READ ALSO: Reminiscence of Ukelle New Yam Festival

In the short span of his career as an artist, he has sold two of his artworks before entering the LIMCAF 2023 competition. His artwork titled ‘Together We Can’ won the prize for best ceramics art at the 2023 LIMCAF.

According to Phillip, the ceramic piece, represented as a missing puzzle piece symbolizes how togetherness and collaboration can help fix the problems of humanity.

Related post