Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Getting to know all about me....

It is not always easy to know what to say about one's self that does not sound self-serving, arrogant or pompous. Sometimes there is also the other extreme of trying to be too modest. This is my dilemma, what to say and what not to say………

If I were woken up in the middle of the night and asked what I loved most in the world, instinctively, without thinking I’d say… created and natural beauty. Creativity, anything and everything artistic. I am absolutely passionate about all aspects of the arts, music (which lifts up my spirits immensely), the unbelievable beauty of nature, absolutely awesome! The joy of the written word, that transports one into a different time and place (which is why I love Jane Austen so much) allowing the imagination to soar. My imagination is very active and well honed.

I was born into an artistic Nigerian family, as far back as I can remember; my parent’s home was always brimming with artistic activity. My father, an artist, ardent scholar, professor of arts and a cultural activist, has always been involved in all aspects of the arts – performance, visual arts, literature and music. My mother, now a retired lecturer, formerly at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, worked as the curator of the museum at the Institute of African Studies. The university, when I was growing up was made up of a very multi-racial and multi-cultural community. In grade school we had Germans, Pakistanis, Indians, West Indians, Americans and Britons, as well as Nigerians from various ethnic groups and students from around the West African region. We also had an art teacher from Egypt. My best friend was a Pakistani girl named Anitra Patel. The curriculum was wonderful, diverse; it instilled the love of reading in me.

I was brought up with the notion that anything is possible despite coming from a very traditional society and a culture that celebrates the male child. My parents encouraged me to believe in myself, be confident in my abilities, to be the best I can be, and be open to new experiences and learning new things. They also taught me not to be discriminating towards any individual, to recognise the differences that exist between all individuals and to try and be tolerant. I learnt to value education and the opportunities that I could access through knowledge.

At varsity I gravitated naturally towards a bachelor of arts with combined honours, majoring in painting. After a compulsory one year national service in the northern part of Nigeria, which was a totally different experience as it is a predominantly Muslim area, I spent sometime working with my father. I learnt so much in that one year plus, increasing my passion for art history and cultural heritage. I decided down the line to take up what I term more ‘formal’ employment to develop my skills, and diversify my interests in the arts and culture sector.

Where would I like to be in the next five to ten years? Somewhere that will help me to develop and hone my skills in heritage management and research.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

Feels good to read about you and to get to know you better. Thanks.