By Dr Tony Rapu. From the catalogue of the exhibition held at Didi Museum, Lagos, July 2002.
I have consistently felt that the answer to our quest for survival as a nation must of a necessity involve a moral revolution. Until we reform the minds of our people we cannot rebuild the desolations of our nation.
There must be a renaissance and a renewal of our sense of pride as a people and as a nation. It is this sense of pride in the heritage of Africa that propelled and motivated the Azikiwes and Mandelas to pursue the African dream at all cost. Since a people and a nation are inseparable from their cultural heritage and since culture is in turn expressed through art and craft, art has therefore become a veritable tool in our hands for the propagation of a message of hope and triumph in the face of apparently insurmountable odds.
In ‘IYA NI WURA’ we seek to give a tribute to the values of motherhood. The picture of the Nigerian mother is one, which evokes an image of nobility, hardwork, industry and conscientiousness; principles on which a nation is built.
The woman is fully committed to the welfare of her family. Societal problems such as destitution, crime and prostitution can be tackled at the grass roots level with the proper upbringing of children. The future generation of a nation can be ensured through the mother. There is an old saying that “the hands that rock the cradle rule the world”.
I have known Gbenga Orimoloye for over 10 years and his works in this exhibition are a toast to motherhood and also a cry for the recognition of hardworking women of our great nation. By employing Gbenga’s strength and talents expressed through the masterful strokes of his paintbrush, we capture and present to you our dream for the return of the significant role of motherhood in the rebuilding of our nation.