A 19-year old Nigerian student in diaspora has just recently debuted what the museum claims to be the first piece of African Art to ever make an appearance in the Cyprus Modern Art Museum. Emediong Uduak Uko is a student from the department of Medicine at the Near East University in Northern Cyprus. The school is founded by Forbes-listed billionaire Cypriot businessman, Suat Günsel, who is the 100% owner of the Cyprus Modern Art Museum along with a myriad of business ventures. The fairly new museum by the year 2020 would be termed as the first and largest museum in the Mediterranean region.
Emediong’s piece is a tribute to legendary Nigerian musician and political activist popularly known as ‘Lagbaja’. As an avid listener of timeless ballads and Afro-centric anthems of the 70s through the 90s from the likes of Fela, Brenda Fassie, Yussour N’dour, Onyeka Onwenu and the likes, Lagbaja was no exclusion. Fascinated by his passion, creativity and anonymity over the years she took an inclination to his music and creativity.
Referencing a previous interview from the ‘Nothing For You’ crooner, the young artist claims she was thoroughly inspired by how he used his musical instruments to impose war on the mind of the listener. She says “He represented the national facelessness & voiceless of the Nigerian people at that time- and I consider that historic.”
This is a giant step for African Art in the European continent as the museum has recorded this culturally outstanding feat in their official website. In addition, she is now officially the youngest artist from any nationality to grace the halls of the gallery so far.
Emediong is on Instagram as @emilyuko