By CHRISTY ANYANWU
chief (Mrs) Nike Okundaye is the Managing Director of Nike Arts Centres and Galleries, located in Osogbo, Lagos, Abuja and Kogi States. Her gallery is a prime destination for tourists, where you get all kinds of wearable arts and different artistic works. The renowned textile artist was at the 2017 edition of Queen Moremi pageant. In this interview, she talks about her favourites.
What is your favourite music?
I like juju music like Ebenezar Obey and Sunny Ade. But I so much love the ‘Elewi ‘ but it is not danceable. I like Chief Yemi Elebuibon’s kind of Ewi. The Alarinjo is number one music for me. The Elewi is number two and Obey and Sunny music are number three. I love these two Juju musicians because their songs teach great lessons. I love dancing. While I was young, I joined the musical theatre group called Olosun Taa. I danced for Ginger Baker when she came to Nigeria in 1970. If you google the name of Ginger Baker, you will see me wearing Aso ofi and dancing. She came to perform with Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and she visited Osogbo. Baba Twins 77 invited her to Osogbo.
Adire is my number one and Aso-Ofi (Aso-Oke) is number two. Adire has different shades. Adire Alabela, Adire Alabere, Adire Eleko, Adire Oni Pencil, Adire Oni Pattern, etc. We call them wearable arts. Sometimes it takes three to six weeks to tidy up one fabric.
Where is your favourite travel destination?
I love Morocco; that is my first. Kenya is second and South Africa is third. These are places I love to spend my holidays because – they are African countries. But when it comes to overseas destinations, America is the first.
I love hot weather. I detest airconditioners. I have an airconditioner in my house and car but I don’t use it. Even when I’m inside a car, I don’t use AC in the car. It is chemical. I love natural air. Like visiting the beach or climbing the mountain. Mountains surround my town in Kogi State and that’s why I also love Abuja. In future, I will retire in Abuja so that I will be visiting the mountaintops for clean air.
What about favourite colour?
I love Indigo. It’s the colour of luck.
In those days, I loved my Volkswagen. But these days, the car has faded off. I like my Chevrolet, that’s the car I use now. It’s very comfortable and it is an American car. Cars of these days are not strong like the American cars.
President Olusegun Obasanjo. He wears adire a lot and adire makers made a lot of money during his regime as the president of Nigeria. He was accessible as a president. Among the governors, El-Rufai is my best choice. As a governor he put us on the board for arts; next is Governor Ambode of Lagos State, he is my favourite too. He appointed me to a board in Lagos and also gave me an award. For senators, I would pick Dino Melaye. Despite the fact that he’s from Kogi State, he fights for the common people.
Pounded yam, egusi and efo riro prepared with iru. My origin is Kabba in Kogi State. We live long because we don’t use chemicals to spice our food; instead we use iru.
I like the hats of Mandela. He uses Iko to make his wears. The hats I wore at the 2017 Miss Moremi event were stuffed with beads courtesy of Mandela and Graces Hats.