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Meet KWASU’s Adedokun Oluwatoyin, photographer, artiste and writer

By Prosperity Adewale And Gbemisola Ajadi

Can we meet you please?

My name is Adedokun Oluwatoyin, a student of Kwara State University Malete, department of Business Administration, 400l. I am from a family of 7. I am from a highly creative family. My father is an engineer, he was the first person to construct an underground tank used by filling stations also the carrier used by heavy lorries in the Oke-Ogun part of Oyo State and my mum is a photographer.

How did you get into what you are doing?

It started at a tender age as a young boy drawing cartoon (actor and boss fighting), painting the sky with watercolour because of my love for nature. Like every other child growing up, I did not see anything special in drawing. I always thought it was a normal thing for everybody to draw not knowing it is a special endowment. Whenever any teacher wants to draw on the board, they ask who can draw well; my classmates will always shout my name. Doing all these, I started developing the craft, and with constant practice, because a wise saying says; ‘the more you practice the better you become’. Entering into secondary school, my art drawing started getting better and my works were always pasted in the staff room. Although while in JSS3 was the last time, I did fine art in school. Throughout my secondary school, I always draw but I did not really put my interest in it. My dad wanted me to study architecture but I had always thought of becoming a banker. Being an artist, I did not really see anything big in it back then. After my secondary school, I gained admission into Kwara State Polytechnic to study Business Studies. There I continued my craft but I did not allow my art life to disrupt my academics. I graduated with an upper credit. After my OND, I do go to a friend of mine Bolaji by name who explained some things concerning art to me, which were still very helpful till date.

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The Vice Chancellor, Prof. AbdulRasheed Na’Allah presenting a gift to the winner of CRAIN competition, Adedokun Oluwatoyin

What was your inspiration?

God is my first inspiration. I develop some concepts by meditating and looking at my environment. I love nature. Economic situation and what people say or do also inspires me. I worked on a project I titled: WAZOBIA in which I used the three most common ethnic in Nigeria. It depicts our difference by using different head cap used by these ethnic groups. We separate ourselves by the language we speak, our skin colour, mode of dressing despite the fact that we are one Nigeria. This inspiration came from the agitation of the Biafra fighting for independence to become a sovereignty state.

Share with us the challenges faced

My schedule was so tight and I am always busy. It always become stressful combining my academics with my artwork. I once had financial problem that warrant me to sell my laptop for N25,000 so as to get my art materials for the jobs at hand. There were peer pressure influences as they thought I was so committed to my artwork than my academics.

With what are the works carried out within the years?

I have featured in many exhibitions and many of my works have been sold. I use many medium in expressing myself from water colour, poster color, yarn (thread) mix media, oil on canvas, machetes stick, just to mention a few. I have done and presented the portrait of the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Dr. AbdulFatah Ahmed.

What was it you created that made you the winner for the CRAIN 2015?

I made an Electronic portrait of our own Vice-Chancellor, Professor AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, which eventually won me an award in the creativity and innovation competition (CRAIN 2015)

Tell us about the project?

I titled the project ‘An Electronic portrait depicting reality’. It has the ability to blink the eye and talk. This was borne out of my critical thinking out of the box. My intention was not to compete but I wanted to show the world another dimension of creativity. The previous year I contested but did not win and I gave up. That made a record breaker being the first to contest in two consecutive CRAIN competitions, and eventually won at last. The challenging thing while the project was going on was that I had to sell my laptop at the rate of N25,000, which I used to purchase materials or the project.

Tell us about your current project

As a writer and an artist, I am working on a book which helps people develop and recognize their talent. Many people while discussing with them; they will keep saying “they do not have the talent” which I do not believe. This book should be read by everyone.

Who would you like to appreciate for motivating you in your career?

I say a big thank you to Professor Otokiti, Dr. Awodun, Dr. Ajonbadi for feeding us with this soup of entrepreneurship. Also my parents Mr. and Mrs. Adedokun for their immense support

A word of advice for great folks out there

To keep it up and do what you know best and be determined.

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