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$2,500 Afriture Painting Competition, push in right direction, says winner




26-year-old 2018 Batch B National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Julius Agbaje, has won the maiden edition of Afriture Painting competition in Lagos.


Agbaje, who is serving with Silverbird Arts Galleria, went home with a cheque of $2,500, which is the star prize. His work “Virtual Reality” won the competition, while Emmanuel Eweje emerged first-runner up while Ifeanyi Ugwoke was second-runner up among the eight contestants.


The painting competition, held at Omenka Arts Gallery, Ikoyi, had panel of judges comprising Nike Okundaye, Oliver Enwonwu, Abiodun Olaku and Fred Adenekan.


An elated Agbaje said he would hold series of solo art exhibitions, help his father to build his business and invest more in his career with the money, adding that it is ‘a dream come true’.


“I am overwhelmed with emotions right now. I have many aspirations in line with developing my career in arts and it is ‘a dream come true’.


“This is a push in the right direction for me. I have always wanted to impact lives through my work and this has given me the opportunity to achieve my dreams. I was discouraged at some points but had to encourage myself again. I thank God today, my dream has come through,” said Agbaje.


Commenting on the criteria used in selecting the winner, Olaku said: “Philosophy is synonymous with the message of the artwork, while the design is how an artist expresses the philosophy through the painting.”


Founder, Ramati Art Africa (RAF), Mr. Shogo Adaramati, the organiser of the competition, said the competition would further encourage more upcoming artists to remain focused in their chosen career, adding that he was happy with the result of the maiden competition which would henceforth hold biennially.


“I am happy with the outcome, I rejoice with the winner and hope this will encourage more artists out there to remain hard working and focused,” he said.

According to him, ‘Afriuture’, which is aimed at shaping artists’ perceptions about an ideal African society, is coined from the fusion of Africa and future.



“Our main goal at RAF is to establish a strong link between the world and the contemporary art scene in Africa which will make Nigeria become the capital of art in the world,” he said.

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