Saturday, April 23, 2016



Felix Ibru was an enigma and proud son of Urhoboland, from Agbarha- Otor, who gave to his people recognition and identity where ever he went, he also bore the torch and fervour of nationalism after the footsteps of Mukoro Mowoe, the first president of the UPU (Urhobo Progressive Union).
He employed his wisdom and indefatigable energy in the various capacities he found himself, to continue to serve Urhoboland and the rest of Nigeria to his very last days. His was a worthy life of integrity and sevice in Leadership, and passion for the arts.

FELIX OVUODORAYE IBRU made a substantial contribution to what has now emerged as the Ibru dynasty. He was also successful architect, a former governor of the Delta State of Nigeria and a former
Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He was first introduced to the Nigerian public as a promising young architect in the sixties when a dome, he innovated as a post graduate student in Israel was exhibited and later became a model for smaller wooden buildings, which dotted the landscape of Lagos and other places. Among his other architectural innovation is the little but
very noticeable house dabbed as “Uwenvwi  RoWovo
(the house with one leg), that he designed for his father Epete Ibru in Agbarha - Otor. Chief Ibru was  also involved in the design and supervision of more than 40 projects across the country. These included, University of Lagos Sports Centre, Sheraton Lagos Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, the Sports centre, and the Faculty of Science buildings, also in the University of Benin.

Felix’s success as an architect coupled with the reputation of the Ibru family, emboldened him to venture into politics where he rose to become the first governor of the newly created Delta State of Nigeria.

As his first appointed Chairman of the State Arts Council, I was aware of his noble plans to develop extensively the arts of the region, but his tenure was cut short like those of other civilian governors who were serving under the military regime of Gen. Abacha. In later years, he showed his love and devotion to the arts, by becoming a frequent visitor to the Niger Delta Centre for Arts and Culture, located in Agbarha-Otor. On such trips, he was extremely supportive, as a friend of the workshop, and encouraged artists who had come from far and near, in their search not only for empowerment through the arts, but also for their search for creativity.

From  2007 – 2010, as President General of the Urhobo Progressive Union, his exemplary leadership, will be remembered, because he set a vision for greater Unity in Urhoboland to meet her current challenges and foster the way forward.

His Excellency Governor Felix Ovuodoraye Ibru lived a greatly accomplished and fulfilled life. He was also gentle and kind, and a dearly beloved family man. We thank God because he had “Ufuoma, Omakpokpo, Otovwe and Idolo” (Peace, Health, Long Life and Wealth).

As an icon, he will be greatly missed by many including myself, because of his life of selflessness, integrity and service in leadership, and finally for hispassion for the arts in general. May his worthy legacy last forever.

Bruce Onobrakpeya
UNESCO Human Living Treasure
7th April 2016

Friday, December 11, 2015

Onobrakpeya exhibits at Temple Muse

Temple Muse 

is delighted to present works by

Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya

spanning 40 years! of artistic experimentation!
Come and see his new Aba Na Nya series, amazing line drawings, and feast your eyes on 
beautiful metal foils exploring our rich ancestry through modern interpretations.

Join us for mulled wine and gourmet bites on
Saturday, December 12th from 2-5pm 
as we enjoy the festive season in the company of our Master Artist!

RSVP essential at

Professor Bruce Onobrakpeya, celebrated as one of Nigeria’s greatest experimental artists, is presenting a magnificent body of work for the Temple Muse Christmas Art Salon including metal foils, prints, plastocasts, as well as his new Aba Na Nya series on canvas.

Onobrakpeya has received many local and international awards including receiving an Honorable Mention at the Venice Biennale, and a Living Human Treasure Award in 2006 from UNESCO. He is one of Nigeria’s famous pioneer Zaria Rebels, an art movement he started together with Prof. Uche Okeke, Yusuf Grillo, Demas Nwoko and other students at the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria in the 1950’s.  Since his student days, Onobrakpeya and his group have revolutionized our art by drawing attention to our old and timeless African values while appreciating global best-practices and universal human values.
Despite being in his 80’s, Onobrakpeya continues to amaze his audience with new innovations and experiments;  his new Aba Na Nya works, which symbolize change in society, are a series of individual mask like faces created from engravings and multi-media collages with pieces of cloth which are photographed using a new xerograph technique. Onobrakpeya has created close to 50 such works with a vision to create a major installation of 100 faces, each representing a unique story of change within society.

The exhibition is also made up of exceptional metal foils and prints reflecting over 40 years of his outstanding career.  His deep etchings and plastocasts which he is famous for, draw deeply on the culture and language of Nigeria and his response to years of socio-political change.  Onobrakpeya is truly a Nigerian living legend, worthy of celebration!
Exhibition runs from December 12th, 2015  to January 23rd, 2016
Opening: December 12th, 2015
Artist Talk: January 16th, 2016, 2pm

Exhibition Curated by Sandra Mbanefo Obiago

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sambisa Forest Installation and letter to the Chibok girls by Bruce Onobrakpeya.

Dear Chibok Girls,

This to let you know that our spirits are there with you in the Sambisa Forest where you have been suffering in the hands of kidnappers for a period of over 510 day.  As grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, citizens of Nigeria and the world, we share your pains.  We daily work and pray for your release from the forbidden forest.  I feel intensely what you are going through because I too had been kidnapped as a child during the Ekene festival but was miraculously rescued before being taken away into the forest.
I dedicate this installation called “Sambisa Forest” to you.  It is a prayer to the supreme intelligence for your release.

In the picture protesting mothers parade behind totems which represent you girls, the armed insurgents, denied or delayed laurels and most importantly, starves of empowerment which you will receive at the end of your travail.

Finally dear girls, don’t loose hope, your present state may be a design by the creator to put you at the top of the world


 Obo –me-yoma
09 – 09 -2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015



The Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) under its Leader Without Title [LWT] monthly Colloquium will on Thursday, 27th of August 2015 hold a Tribute Colloquium in honour of Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya and Mr. Fred Agbeyegbe to commemorate their 83rd and 80th birthdays respectively. The Event will take place at CVL Building, 6 Balarabe Musa Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos from 2pm -6pm. The event is to honour the two art icons for their contributions to the development of Art in Nigeria. Dr. Onobrakpeya is Africa’s most important printmaker and Mr Agbeyegbe is a foremost dramatist in Nigeria.
Ahead of the Colloquium, a one week exhibition of the best of Dr. Onobrakpeya’s artworks and paintings will be open to the public from the 20th – 27th of August from 9am – 5pm at CVL Building. Works consisting of metal foil pieces, prints, serigraphs, plastocasts, sculptures and paintings dating back to over 5 decades of his career would be showcased in the week-long exhibition.

The theme of the colloquium is: Art As Bandage and the panel of discussants include: Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon (Founder, OYASAF), Mr. Kolade Oshinowo (Veteran Artist, Master Painter and Portraitist), Mrs. Nike Davies Okundaye (Founder, Nike Art Gallery), Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters (Founder/CEO, Terra Kulture) and Mrs. Melinda Akinlami (Senior Presenter & Producer, Art House, Channels Television). Prof Pat Utomi, the Founder of CVL will moderate the Colloquium.

In the 24th Leader Without Title Colloquium, CVL honoured Chief (Dr) Ernest Shonekan for his contribution to the growth of Public-Private Partnership in Nigeria. The conclusion of the panel discussion at the event agreed that for Nigeria to have a meaningful development, there is urgent need for the public and private sectors as well as development partners in the country to work together.

Other distinguished persons honoured in the past under the LWT Colloquium are: Mr. Akintola Williams, Dr. Michael Omolayole, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Mr. Richard Kramer, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo, Prof. (Mrs.) Oyinade Elebute, Chief Folake Solanke, Elder Felix Ohiwerei, Dr. Gamaliel Onosode, Chief Philip Asiodu, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Dr. Christopher Kolade, Prof Grace Alele-Williams, Mrs. Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Chief Festus Marinho, Dr. Thomas John, Prof Itse Sagay, Alhaji Rasak Akanni Okoya, Pastor Shyngle Wigwe, Engr Vincent Maduka, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah, , Chief Arthur Mbanefo, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, Otunba Michael Balogun, Dr. Pascal Dozie, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and Mr. Martin Ikediashi. A post-humus LWT was also organized in honour of late Prof Chinua Achebe.

CVL initiated the Leader Without Title (LWT) Leadership Tribute Colloquium to honour outstanding sector leaders for their special contributions in the sector where they worked. The LWT programme is in keeping with CVL’s commitment to affect the generation next to be leaders without care for title. It is an honour for people who are 70 years and above who have left a mark worth emulating.

Nwaulu Modestus
Project Team Lead

Tuesday, June 23, 2015