By Japhet Alakam
They say that teachers rewards areÂ in heaven. But the state of the economy and the way teachers are neglected in Nigeria have forced many teachers to reject that promised heavenly promise by insisting to have their rewards here on earth.
But one teacher who still believes that his reward is in heaven is Mr. Adeniyi Olusegun Micheal, a trained artist and the fine Arts teacher at Anu Olu International College, Panseke, Abeokuta.
Mr Adeniyi who has been in the business of tutoring young arts students saw the great potentials in one, Azubuike George, a 17 year old SS11 student in his class and vowed to make sure that the talents does waste away. The two: teacher and pupil were in Vanguard Corporate headquarters in Apapa, Lagos last week, where the young George displayed some of his drawings and paintings to Vanguard Art desk.
In a chat with the young artist, Azubuike on how he came about art when no member of his family is into arts, he disclosed that he got inspiration from road side artists and sculptors â€œ when I see somebody painting, drawing or molding , I try to copy him.â€ He said. Continuing the young Azubuike, who has hearing problem added that â€œbecause of the hearing problem when lessons are going on in the class I will be drawing the teacher as a way to keep myself busy.â€ To him, he does not see the hearing problem as an impediment, but rather, he uses it as an advantage as that makes him to be more focused on arts.
Though no member of his family is into arts, Azubuike wants to use his artistic talents to register the familyâ€™s name into arts as he goes about doing that, an action that has already received the blessing of his father .Using the power of his hands to demonstrate, Azubuike pointed out that apart from drawing and painting, that he also plays football.
Unlike some of his peers who will prefer to beÂ Engineers or Doctors, Azubuike prefers Arts to any other profession even though he does not know what benefits that will accrue from it. But the love and passion he has for the trade makes him to take that decision. According to his art teacher, â€œhe is passionate and devoted about the work to the extent that when he is given an assignment instead of submitting one like others he will submit two or three.â€
And as a proofÂ to that, they brought out many art works he did as a student, which include; paintings and drawings. One of his paintings titled, The Drummer Boy ,is a well painted Nigerian of Yoruba extraction as shown in his dressing. A man adorned in white green strap, an aso oke and a cap clutching a drum and a stick in his hands.
Asked on how he came about the work, he explained that â€œI draw on the paper, pick colours from old calendar cuttings and apply glue . After that, I use broom sticks to pick the papers and pace.â€
It is such a wonderful work done in such a local way by the 17 year old Delta state boy that excite interest about his talent when considered that he has not been to any gallery before and does not even know any artist except his art teacher. When asked on how he intends to actualize his dream of becoming an artist , he said that he plans to proceed to a higher school where he will study arts and become a known artist.
Commenting on the boy, Mr Adeniyi Micheal, his Art teacher said â€œ I see him as a highly talented boy. His artistic prowess is fantastic and brilliant, and I believe that if the potential is well guarded and enhanced, he will become a vibrant artist in the future.â€