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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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Court Denies Binance Executive Tigran Gambaryan Bail




Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday, refused to grant bail to an executive of Binance Holdings Limited, Tigran Gambaryan.

Justice Nwite held that Gambaryan is likely to jump bail if granted to him.

The company and its executive were arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering before Emeka Nwite, judge of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Moving an application, Counsel to the Defendant, Mark Mordi, argued that the court had the power to grant bail to the defendant and impose conditions to ensure his presence in court.

The prosecution counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, however opposed the bail application, stating that the defendant is a flight risk.

He stated that the defendant attempted to obtain a new passport, which he claimed was stolen, and this is a suspicious act given the proximity to his colleague’s escape from custody.

He added that the court cannot risk granting Gambaryan bail, especially as he is not attached to any community in Nigeria.

“The fact that the passport of the defendant is with the complainant does not guarantee that he will remain in Nigeria because the defendant is not only an American citizen but also an Armenian citizen by birth.

He urged the court to refuse the application and instead remand him in EFCC custody to ensure his safety and prevent potential flight risk.

Delivering ruling, the judge said several factors including the nature of offence and its severity must be considered when trying to decide whether or not bail should be granted to the defendant applicant.

Justice Nwite agreed with the depositions made by prosecution and was of the view that the applicant will jump bail if bail is granted to him.

He subsequently ordered that the trial be given an accelerated hearing.

After the ruling, the EFCC called its first witness, a staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Governor Adeleke Felicitates with Dele Momodu at 64




The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has felicitated with the celebrated journalist, and Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Akinrogun Dele Momodu on the occasion of his 64th birthday, describing him as “a pride of the media industry.”

Governor Adeleke noted Akinrogun Momodu’s heartwarming contributions to a just and equitable society, saying he has touched the minds and hearts of countless people with insightful words, logistic support and unwavering dedication to truth and justice.

The Governor appreciates the Ovation Magazine Publisher’s sustained commitment to informing and enlightening the public as a weapon of nation building, acknowledging him as an inspirational figure, who has empowered readers to think critically, and engage meaningfully.

“I congratulate my dear friend, Akinrogun Dele Momodu, on the auspicious occasion of his birthday. The Aare Tayese of Iwoland is a unique personality, who has touched lives positively and brought smiles to countless faces,” the Governor was quoted in a congratulatory message, signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed.

“On this auspicious occasion, I honour both your wonderful life and exceptional contributions to the media sector and the larger society. I note, with admiration, Akinrogun Momodu’s deep sense of commitment to a better Nigeria, which is manifest in columns and public discourse.

“On behalf of my family, I convey best wishes to Akinrogun Momodu on his birthday and it is my prayer that God grant him many celebrations in good health and happiness while also bestowing him the grace to give more to humanity.”

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Why We’re Charging Helicopter Landing Fee – Aviation Ministry




The Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development on Monday said the introduction of helicopter landing levies was in line with global best practices and cost recovery measures.

This is contained in a statement by Odutayo Oluseyi, Head, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry in Lagos.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the ministry recognises the importance of helicopter operations in Nigeria’s aviation industry and is committed to implementing international best practices in helicopter operations.

He said that helicopter landing levies were commonplace in countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, India and various other regions worldwide.

He maintained that Tallahassee International Airport in Florida began implementing helicopter landing levies under Vector Airport Systems, since 1 October 2022.

Mr Oluseyi said helicopter landing levies were common across airfields in the United Kingdom, ranging from major commercial ones, to small general aviation fields.

He added that, typically, helicopter levies matched or exceeded those for fixed-wing aircraft, and varied based on factors like location and services provided.

“The federal government has granted NAEBI Dynamic Concepts Ltd exclusive rights to collect helicopter landing levies in line with the MoU between NAEBI Concept and NAMA (focal Agency), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

“It is instructive to note that NAMA, under the Act as amended in 2022, is empowered to collect aeronautical revenues in both the upper and lower airspace to support her self-sustainability.

“However, over the years, NAMA has predominantly relied on the upper airspace for her revenue generation.

“Government in her wisdom, having discovered a lacuna on the lower airspace where helicopter operations is dominant, directed NAMA to live up to its responsibilities, to enable them generate enough resources, to sustain their aeronautical architecture, enhance security and surveillance and improve the overall quality of helicopter operations in Nigeria,” he said.

According to Mr Oluseyi, the government is confident that the move will improve capacity, efficiency, safety, security and attract more investments in the aviation industry.

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