Dora Akunyili


Ex-First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama paid a visit to Njideka Akunyili Crosby at her studio.

US-based, Njideka, one of the daughters of the late NAFDAC boss, Dora Akunyili made headlines when her 2017 botanical painting, titled “Bush Babies”, sold for $3.4 million USD.

Her sister, Chidiogo shared the photo with the caption: So this just happened! Casual Saturday in the Akunyili Crosby family. When Michelle Obama pays a visit to your studio! 🌞 Me to my sister, “if it could come up, make sure to tell her about the book.” 🙈

Two Nigerian women, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi have been named in the first-ever ‘TIME 100 Next’ list.

TIME 100 Next — an offshoot of TIME 100 franchise — brings to spotlight 100 rising stars around the world who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sports, politics, science, health and more.

The initiative, according to the organiser, is to provide a breakaway from the traditional definition of world changers, which are mostly dominated by politicians and the rich.

Crosby, Nigerian-born visual artist, based in Los Angeles, California, who was named in the ‘Artist’ category, made the list for her works, which focus on the cultural differences between Nigeria and the US.

Born in 1983 and raised in Enugu, Njideka is one of the daughters of late Dora Akunyili, a professor and former director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria (NAFDAC).

According to TIME, her works have sold for millions at auctions.

“But in 2018, it was possible to see one at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art free of charge—you didn’t even have to go inside,” it wrote.

“The visual artist was only the second person to be chosen to create a mural on the walls of the museum itself, which was visible from Grand Avenue’s sidewalk. It featured brightly colored scenes of domestic life: in one section, a woman rests her elbow on a table, seemingly deep in thought. Akunyili Crosby—who moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in her teens—is known for such scenes, some of which are autobiographical and incorporate references to both countries.”

In 2017, she won the Genius Grant award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Owosobi, on the other hand, made the ‘Advocates’ category for her campaigns against sexual assault in Nigeria.

Image result for oluwaseun osowobi

Through her organisation, Stand to End Rape (STER), she has reached about 200,000 in Nigeria providing training for health workers and counseling for survivors, according to TIME.

“Telling my story as a survivor, that comes with a lot of stigma,” said Owosobi, who was once honoured by Obama Foundation.

She was named 2019 Commonwealth Young Person of the year.

Credit: fabwoman.ng

In a report by Wall Street Journal, Njideka‘s highest selling artwork at the moment is a 2017 botanical piece named ‘Bush Babies.’

According to the report, New York based art company dealer, Sotheby’s estimated that the ‘Bush Babies,’ would sell for up to $800,000 but ended up selling for $3.4 million.

The ‘Bush Babies’ artwork was sold during an auction at the Christie’s in London, United Kingdom.

The artist, who once sold artworks for  $3,000 apiece has joined the leagues of top-flight artists in United States of America and United Kingdom.

It was also reported that least 20 public museums are on a waiting list for works which Njideka hasn’t painted yet.

At 35 years old, Crosby from Eastern Nigeria, has since been awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

The MacArthur Fellowship, also referred to as the Genius Grant, awards $625,000 to artists, writers, teachers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and people from all works of life who have shown exceptional creativity.

The grant is doled out in instalments, made over a period of five years.

Aside the grant, Njideka has also been decorated with honours for her artworks by the New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art and London’s Tate Modernhave come calling.

Credit: Pulse