Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Aguene Art Foundation Set to Promote Tourism in Nigeria Ogbonna

The vision and passion of artistic invention that runs in the family of Chief Ogbonna was an ancestral heritage from the art loving family of late Chief Aguene Nwinyinya Okorie of Umuchita-Uudomi village in Onicha Igboeze, Ebonyi State.

Speaking on the development and benefit Nigeria stands to gain through Aguene Art Foundation, Solomon said, "without vision the people perish", quoting the Bible. "A man without vision is not capable of achieving any high enterprise, and he that has focus should not allow anything to distract him until he gets to his final destination".

This philosophy has helped him today to raise this art foundation that would not only anchor on preservation of the art, culture and tradition of the people but is bent on bringing development to the country and also making it a tourism site for all and sundry.

Chief Solomon, who officially conducted Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Lagos, well-wishers, pressmen and friends around the exhibition centre in Ajah, Lagos, had at the age of 9 developed special interest in traditional art forms including paintings, sculptures, bronze, wood, etc. At the age of 11, he was already a regular sight in the company of his father at high profile traditional ceremonies and gatherings of titled men, though without prejudice to his education.

It was funny, when at 15 with the influence of his father was admitted into the spiritual group, "OGBO-EKWA" which then stood as ancient police in Onicha Igbo-Eze (a group that chastises evil doers in the community and brings them to justice), he said.

He believes that art is a form of culture and an extension of the mind and reasoning of the spirits. Therefore, he is resolute in his advocacy for custom and tradition of Africans, and he is convinced that nothing will strengthen a people as much as a proper appreciation and understanding of their own history as recorded by their own people, in their own language.

However, in his quest to perpetuate and develop the ideals of his late father, Aguene Art Foundation, an indigenous non-governmental organisation was set up for the collection, preservation, development and advancement of arts and culture. To further enhance the preservation of our proud African heritage on a global level, Chief Solomon Ogbonna, chairman, Board of Trustees of the foundation, the patron of Onicha Igbo-Eze Town Union, Lagos branch, an ambassador for Peace, also an awardee of Pan-African Partnership Award for Peace, Art and Culture Development etc. has embarked on the establishment of Aguene Museum Of Master Pieces of Art.

President, South-East, South-SouthTraditional Ruling Council, Lagos, Dr. Sylvan O. Ebigwei, advised all and sundry to support Chief Solomon succeed in this vision taken to make Nigeria great like other countries of the world.

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