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Retro Africa Presents “Ènìyàn: Escape Room”, a Solo Exhibition by Yusuff Aina



Retro Africa gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming solo exhibition “Ènìyàn: Escape Room”, opening to the public on Thursday July 6th, 9AM – 5PM, at Art Twenty One, featuring a selection of works by Yusuff Aina.

The exhibition is a comprehensive representation of Yusuff Aina’s artistic practice and a visual journal of his personal transformation—from vulnerability to strength, self-awareness, and stillness. This body of work consists of 31 new paintings, a site-specific installation, and a soundscape, all serving as portals into Aina’s art of
worldmaking through altered physical spaces, experimentation, and symbolism.

Acknowledging the chaos and fast pace of today’s world, the project initiates a global
discourse on mental well-being, sound mind, and freedom. By placing Ènìyàn in
liminal spaces such as open doorways, stairways, and void-like environments, Aina
reflects on the stages of confusion and indecision that individuals often experience.

The figure is depicted in various states of contemplation and flux as it navigates the
artist’s mythical universe—an unnamed, expansive world situated between nowhere
and everywhere. “Ènìyàn : Escape Room” represents an immersive exhibition that
delves into the intricate voyage of Yusuff’s artistic practice, encapsulating the depths
of his emotional exploration and the potent influence of self-discovery, this exhibition
invites spectators to navigate the intricacies of vulnerability, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of personal growth.

Through a captivating dialogue between the
artist, Yusuff, and the viewer, this exhibition serves as both a therapeutic exploration
and a call for collective introspection.
Yusuff’s profound realization of his own emotional struggles was catalyzed by the
unprecedented circumstances brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, which compelled him to embark on a period of deep introspection and self-reflection. As the world came to a standstill, confining him within the parameters of his apartment and
presenting him with financial obstacles alongside an abundance of time, he seized
this opportunity to embark on a transformative inward journey, questioning the very motivations and aspirations that propelled him.

Ènìyàn: Escape Room is presented in six unique rooms, each characterised by a
distinct colour that corresponds to a group of similar emotional states. For example,
Àina’s White Room represents an indeterminate state in which it is difficult to define one’s mood, while his Black Room symbolises a mind state that consumes all others.

The red room alludes to feelings of pain, anger, ego, and pride, while the blue room
captures the space between sadness and YUSUFF AINA 2023 vulnerability. The yellow room symbolises timidity, and the green room signifies tranquillity and euphoria.

Ultimately, these rooms invite audiences to explore the concept of mobility, where
mobility signifies healing and personal growth, enabling us to evolve into improved
versions of ourselves.

Reflecting on the project, Àina states, “The issues I explore encompass both physical and psychological aspects, such as domestic violence, low self-esteem, anxiety, and more. I invite the public into a space of self-awareness—a fertile ground to confront the situations lurking in the shadows of our personal lives and in society at large. Above all, it is my hope that the thoughts explored in this project empower people to fully embrace themselves and embark on a new path or continue progressing on an existing one.”

During this period of profound introspection, he began confronting deeply ingrained doubts and insecurities, many of which had eluded his conscious awareness.

The impact of diminished self-esteem, depression, and anxiety gradually came into focus, revealing the emotional complexities that he unknowingly carried within himself.
Through his paintings and installations, Yusuff endeavoured to articulate the struggle to attain authenticity and liberate himself from societal expectations that had exerted influence over his artistic output in the past.

“Ènìyàn : Escape Room” is both an artistic display and an invitation to embrace
vulnerability, engage with our own emotions, and navigate the complexities of the human experience. By entering each distinct room, visitors are encouraged to see
themselves reflected within the narratives woven by Yusuff’s artistry. It becomes a
space for personal connection, empathy, and understanding, fostering a sense of
unity among individuals who may have divergent backgrounds and experiences.
Retro Africa Founder Dolly Kola-Balogun, stated: “In the transformative realm of
our minds, viewers are invited to explore their own paths of self-discovery, finding
solace, inspiration, and a renewed sense of purpose. The exhibition serves as a
poignant reminder that introspection is a powerful tool for growth, offering a profound opportunity to connect with ourselves and, ultimately, with one another.”

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National Day Schools Competition: Aijay Media Celebrates Nigeria’s Rich Heritage




The Aijay Media Annual National Day Schools Competition, held every October 1st, is set to hold this Tuesday.

The event, as always, is programmed to showcase the best of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, and traditions as well as celebrate the country’s national day, with varieties of competitions, which have grown in popularity over the years, attracting participation from schools all over Lagos State.

This year’s competition revolves around the “Theme: Nigeria Will be Great If …”, with different schools competing in various categories such as traditional dance, poetry, drama, and music. Students are to display their talents, creativity, and prowess in interpreting the theme.

The CEO of Aijay Media, Mrs. Ijeoma Oka, said that the competition is an opportunity for students to showcase their talents, celebrate their cultural identity and proffer their own solutions to the anomalies in our country.

The Competition is also an opportunity for schools to win prizes, including educational materials. This Last year’s competition saw many schools taking home prizes, with Tenderhands Montessori School, Lagos emerging as the overall winner.

Mrs. Abiola-Seriki Ayeni was the Special guest of honour at the previous year’s competition. Speaking at the event, she commended Aijay Media for organizing the competition and called on well-meaning Nigerians, government, and companies to support this vision. She also urged Nigerian youths to embrace their cultural heritage, promote national unity, and work harder.

Given the success this competition is expected to attract, it is expected that more schools and organizations will participate in the future.

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NLC, TUC Declare Indefinite Strike




The organised labour unions, comprising the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), have declared an indefinite strike effective from October 3, 2023.

TUC President, Festus Osifo declared the strike at a joint press conference also attended by the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero in Abuja on Tuesday.

Ajaero, who spoke first, carpeted the Federal Government over what he described as lackadaisical stance to address demands raised by the unions since the subsidy removal policy took effect.

He accused the government of deliberate refusal to engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue within the ambits of good faith during the 21 days ultimatum and the subsequent successful 2-day nationwide warning strike on the 5th and 6th of September 2023.

According to the NLC President, the National Executive Councils (NEC) of the NLC and TUC in their various meetings deeply analyzed the current situation in the country, taking into cognisance the extensive hardships and deprivation afflicting the citizens across all states of the federation.

He said both NECs unanimously condemned the government’s apparent conscious lethargy and tardiness in handling the consequences of its petrol price hike on Nigerians.

Ajaero also noted that the NLC and the TUC NEC-in-session observed that there is no disagreement between Labour and Government on the existence of massive suffering, impoverishment and hunger in the country as a result of the hike in the price of Petrol which demands an urgent need for remedial action.

He said the government totally abdicated its responsibility and had shown gross unwillingness to act, thereby abandoning Nigerian people and workers to excruciating poverty and affliction.

He went on to accuse the federal government of continuous grandstanding and forestalling all avenues to peaceful dialogue with organized labour on ways to save Nigerians from the huge hunger and suffering experienced across the nation.

“As a result of the unconscionable hike in the price of Petrol (PMS) by the Government, the Government has continued to demonstrate not just an unwillingness to mitigate the massive hardship in the country but also a complete lack of intention to take positive steps and empathy for the multi-dimensionally impoverished citizens of Nigeria.

“The federal Government has therefore not met in any substantial way, the demands of Nigerian workers and peoples as previously canvassed in our mutually agreed roadmap to salvaging the economy and protecting workers and Nigerians from the monumental hardship.

“The grace period given by the two labour centres has expired but trade unions continue to face severe threat from the State via the brutal and suppressive power of the Police and Government.

“The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) continues to be illegally occupied by the Government via the instrumentality of the police who have cloned the leadership of NURTW.

“The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) continues to be illegally occupied by the Lagos State government in total disregard to the Courts and the statutes.

“That the State has continued to blackmail and sponsor serious campaigns of calumny against trade union leaders in the social media using its buying and coercive powers instead of making efforts to lift the burden on the masses,” the NLC President stated.

When Osifo got hold of the microphone, he said, consequently, the NLC and TUC NEC-in-Session resolved as follows: “to, in the spirit of the Independence Day celebration and to demonstrate our resolve for a truly independent Nigeria to take our destinies in our own hands and rescue our nation

“To embark on an indefinite and total shutdown of the nation beginning on zero hours Tuesday, the 3rd day of October, 2023. To direct all workers in Nigeria to withdraw their services from their respective workplaces commencing from the 3rd of October.

“To direct all affiliates and state councils to immediately start mobilizing accordingly for action to organize street protests and rallies until Government responds positively to our demands.

“We enjoin all patriotic Nigerians to join hands across the nation to assist this government put the people back at the centre of its policies and programmes.”

Daily Post

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Nigerians Will Be Shocked If Chicago Varsity Releases Tinubu’s Academic Records – Obaseki




A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and member of the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) in the last election, Dr Don Pedro Obaseki, has said Nigerians will be shocked if the Chicago State University (CSU) releases the academic records of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

Obaseki who was the Director of Research and Documentation of PDP – PCC in the 2023 election explained that Atiku is seeking an open disclosure of Tinubu’s CSU documents because it is believed that the Supreme Court of Nigeria may be compelled to listen to fresh evidence in the petitions already submitted to it.

Speaking during a zoom conference hosted by Prof. Gold Emmanuel, a psychologist based in London, on Monday, Obaseki said it was because of the nature of the issue and the need for Nigerians to know that the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is insisting on the full disclosure of President Tinubu’s academic records by the Chicago State University.

He said even though President Tinubu has said the public disclosure of his CSU documents would cause irreparable damage to him, “Nigerians would even be more shocked to know more about the certificate in question.”

He said, “Even when the court of first instance and the appellate court have convicted someone to death minutes before the Supreme Court gives its final judgement and there arose fresh and compelling facts and evidence, the apex court is bound to listen to the fresh facts before making its final judgement.

Daily Trust

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