Nigerian artist, Kunle Adewale gets special day in U.S.
While some boast of fraudulent acts abroad, Nigerian artist and medical practitioner, Kunle Adewale, has received a rare international recognition in the United States when the Mayor of Cincinnati declared August 2 as “Kunle Adewale Day” in recognition of his contribution to the United States in both fields of Arts and Medicine. The Mayor, John Cranley, made the declaration with a seal.
Confirming this yesterday, the U.S. Mission on its verified Twitter handle, celebrated the feat. It posted: Olakunle Adewale, 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, recently participated in the Eye of the Artists Foundation’s first international Artist In Residence Program in Cincinnati, Ohio. On August 2, Mayor John Cranley declared August 2, 2019 “Kunle Adewale Day” in honor of the Nigerian.
Adewale in an announcement last week, said the recognition is a reward for his passion towards serving humanity in his chosen fields. He added that his dedication has only begun as he is dedicated to putting more efforts in his humanitarian service.
He said: “Kunle Adewale Day is a testament of my passion for development work, servant leadership, continuous intercontinental partnership with diplomatic missions, global art institutions, Professional arts in health organisations and my civic engagements through the arts.”“Kunle Adewale Day is dedicated to serve to humanity through creative engagements in communities across Cincinnati, Ohio and Nigeria,” he added.
Adewale is an award-winning artist from Nigeria and founder of Tender Arts Nigeria, a non-profit organisation that focuses on art education, talent development, and therapeutic art programs.
He used his 11 days in Cincinnati in Ohio in meaningful engagement with the community as he impacted both young and old. I am Kunle Adewale. A Visual Artist and Educator. Growing up in my family and neighborhood was very tough… I was born and raised in the heart of Mushin, Lagos, Nigeria. Mushin is a place people dread because of its notoriety for violence and constant crisis. My father married two wives and I am the 9th out of 14 children. We all lived together in a single room apartment and I sometimes had to sleep under the staircase or out in the corridor because I could not stand the heat in our choked up apartment. I lived most of my formative years like someone without a future, a gambler and a carefree person. I was also a scavenger, moving from one street to another, looking for metal scraps to sell so that I would be able to afford what most of my mates had and also have some pocket money.
My parents weren’t rich – my mum sold food under the bridge at Mushin while my father went back to farming after retiring from the Nigerian Army. 3-square meals a day was a luxury we hardly had; I remember there were times I sneaked out of the house and followed my friends to eat left-over food at parties. Before and during my teenage years, I hawked boiled eggs, kerosene, pure water and nylon bags after every school day, and on weekends too. This was a means through which money was generated for my school fees and welfare of my siblings. At some points, I had to become a bus conductor, a car washer, and a mason, respectively, in order to survive. I desired to be an Educationist but I didn’t know how that dream could be realized considering the financial situation at home. I couldn’t even speak or write correct English so university education remained a mirage for a long time!