Art painting of Ugochukwu Adetokunbo, by Babalola Oluwafemi at Area 1 Basketball Court, Abuja, Nigeria, Africa

The “Artmazing” professional behind the Giannis Court, Abuja

by Chukwuemeka Oragwu

Babalola Oluwafemi is a professional Fine Artist, creative head of the Artmazing Studios, and a major promoter of African arts. He hails from Ijumu local government area of Kogi state Nigeria with a Degree in Fine Arts (specialty in Art History) from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

He currently runs the Artmazing studios; an African inspired studio that offers a range of services from murals, graffiti, illustrations and art consultancy.

“I began my career as a makeup Artist after completing NYSC at Daura, Katsina state and subsequently decided to go into full time art practice” Babalola said.

“Being an experimental artist, I have been mixing traditional African arts with urban arts. Currently a Balvenie maker – representing the Balvenie brand as a brand ambassador – I am also a renowned body artist, playing with lines and African motifs to create beautiful patterns on the human skin as a canvas.” He added.

Babalola attended many exhibitions and fares, honing his craft doing body arts. He have also handled lots of commissioned art projects in Abuja, some of which can be found in well known places like Jabi boat club, Discovery museum, Trukadero, Nigerian Naval recreation center, Mcee solutions office, Savy office, and most recently the commissioned graffiti at the Queens Birthday party.

“I love art and this is all I have got so that is why I seek to give it my all. Art is a voice to me, it speaks when I am out of words. It is the easiest way I pass messages on lots of issues. I plan to contribute to my field by using art to tell my African story and discovering new and improved way to better my country and the world at large.” Babalola continued.

The artmazing communities
“This is a new project under the studio. Was born out of the need to make AFRICA beautiful with art and draw attention to particular spaces we feel deserved more awareness.”

“This project tagged “Artmazing Communities” is a give back project where we go to communities and renovate existing social amenities and community structures with the thing we know how to do best: Art.”

“The Artmazing Communities seek to achieve positive change that affects and inspires individuals, groups, communities and the world at large. We know it will greatly serve every community selected.”

Why a basketball court?

“In this particular community it is a vital part of their story. It is one of the first courts and a very popular court in the capital. Area 1 holds a lot of history for basketball players in the capital.”

“Although I never really played, I have always had a love for the sport. And fusing my urban style with the traditional African touch, it was just the perfect go-to for me. Then again it is a beautiful thing seeing children grow up in communities with people who they just met on the court or football field and they become best friends for life. This is a place where bonds are made and it affects us for life.”

“I also hope this project would direct the international light on this community and scouts would know this community has the love of the sport, also has amazing players, and make it a first stop for basketball scouts and investors.

Why Giannis?
“First of all, he is an African and I am really interested in telling African stories, because they really do not get to he heard. Thus, this is celebrating an AFRICAN making us proud and representing us properly.”

“Also to be an art that inspires younger Basketball players; Grown their confidence and push them to always be at the top of their games. I still that mindset that if he can do it, they can and also do it bigger. So that was the choice of using Giannis as the face of this particular project.

Dreams and plans for the Future?

“Like I would always say just give me a space and freedom and I am happy.
My dream is to keep painting and creating till we can’t no more.
The dream is to paint more spaces, touch more communities, make art that changes world negative narratives about the African. Build an army of intellectuals that are equipped to take this art to the ends of the earth.
The dream is to paint bigger spaces so the message can’t be hidden.
The dream is to give back in artistic ways and make the world an ‘artmazing’ artistic place.”

1 thought on “The “Artmazing” professional behind the Giannis Court, Abuja”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *