A member of the Society of Nigerian Artists and Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria, Sule Ayinla Babs Babajide, has exposed the ills bedeviling the country such as banditry, corrupt politicians, polygamy, among others.
Babajide, in his Exhibition of Paintings and Installations, titled: “Orunmila: A Sundry Collection of Artworks,” held on Saturday, at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, said his vision is to see a country where indigenous arts will occupy a pride of place not only in the hearts of the people, but also contribute significantly to the economic growth and development of the nation.”
An artist that paints contemporary issues, Babajide is a teacher at the International School, University of Lagos, and a graduate of Fine Arts, with specialization in Painting from the University of Ife.
On the choice of Orunmila as the title of his work, Babajide said: “I used Orunmila and Socrates because the perception of the Black man about Orunmila is different from the perception of the West about Socrates.
“Orunmila is a Yoruba God of divinity, wisdom, and knowledge. Orunmila has already talked about all what the art works expose.- politics, education, religion, medicine, social life.
“The West embraced Socrates as a philosopher while in the western part of Nigeria where Orunmila comes from, Orunmila is not recognized and accepted as a philosopher.”
For development to take place in any nation, Babajide said, the people have to accept their culture, adding: “We should embrace our culture, without that, we are just wasting our time.”
On why he exposed banditry in his paintings, Babajide said: “It is for the people to know what is going on in the country. The painting on banditry has Christian and Muslim symbols. Bandits are kidnapping people of both religions and the act has become a business venture.”
Lamenting that today, Nigerians are scared of travelling, especially to the northern part of the country, the artists said: “Recently, it is coming to the western part of the country.
As a way out, Babajide called for the arrest of the bandits, adding: “Government should arrest the bandits and bring them to book for peace to return to the country.”
The artist, who exposed politicians in his art work, charged them to fulfill their promises to the people.
To the masses, Babajide charged them to vote for the right candidates that can provide all their needs including housing, security, education, among others. He called for a leader that has the fear of God and the interest of the people.
He charged them to “shine their eyes” in order not to continue like this.”
He said that gods (Orunmila) are angry mainly because the politicians who consulted them for supernatural powers, after electoral victory, abandon them. “The gods want politicians to identify with them. They are not happy with what is happening in the society,” he added.