Meet Nike Okundaye, A 64-Year Old Nigerian Who Lectures At Harvard


Here’s Nike Okundaye. A 64-year old Nigerian Batik and Textile designer who has no formal education, but lecturers at Harvard.

Davies-Okundaye, was brought up amidst the traditional weaving and dying as practised in her home town of Ogidi, Kogi State, in North Central Nigeria, though she has become known for a modern approach to traditional themes in her colourful batik and paintings. Over the past twenty years she has given workshops on traditional Nigerian textiles to audiences in the United States and Europe.

Finding that the traditional methods of weaving and dying that had been her original inspiration were fading in Nigeria, Davies-Okundaye set about launching a revival of this aspect of Nigerian culture, building art centres offering free courses for young Nigerians to learn traditional arts and crafts. Her son Olabayo Olaniyi, College of Santa Fegraduate, is also an artist. Davies-Okundaye has more than 150 students in Europe and America. She is also a philanthropist.

Nike’s painting is permanently featured at The Smithsonian Museum as of 2012, and her work is also part of the collection of The Gallery of African Art and The British Library, in London.

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