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Molue: An Artist Perspective

The uniqueness of the Lagos buses known as “Molue” can not be compared to any other city buses around the globe. The outstanding creativity that transform a Mercedes Benz automobile into this new form and colour does not only emphasise the vibrancy of the city 24/7 throughout the years of its reign but also bring to notice the energy and light this movement aid of masses in the city of Lagos have beamed on the diverse markets that can be found within its loins. From the precolonial period of the Awori’s to the traditional military encampment by the Benin kingdom in the 16th century down to the Portuguese business era before the colonial period when this “small but mighty” landscape have emerged as a colony before it was made the capital of the southern protectorate in the 90’s, Lagos have become not only a major determinant of activities or trends but a major key player in the development of many ideas and innovations.

Èkó as it is popularly called in the Yoruba language with its adjoining metropolitan areas is the largest city on the African continent and one of the fastest growing in the world. Apart from its urban agglomerated population and the financial centre of the continent, its GDP contributions cannot deny the large busy ports and houses which also add to its identity.

With its golden jubilee as a state this year which have witness diverse activities from being a colony to becoming a federal territory, this metropolitan entity and it’s extended surrounding is the home to about 21 million of the Nigeria population figure.

Through this painting, Tomiwa Ashaolu bring to limelight the importance of this important city in discussing Nigeria economy and it’s influence on other countries located within the African continent. With the use of traditional motifs which is identical to the continent, he brings to our notice that although this city have been influenced by many cultures and diversities of people, it’s values and heritage is still well visible across the land mass it cover. He’s also reminding us of the shades of evil doers which is identical to any cities around the world that may also become a problem if the necessary amenities and services from the necessary authorities in power are not provided. With the parts of the painting faded to the canvas, the artist point to our notice that although we may believe we know this city, our vigilance is important because change is the only constant thing in life.

Featured Image by Tomiwa Ashaolu

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

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