The Committee for Relevant Art, CORA directorate is pleased to announce her “Arthouse Honourees” for the 2019 Lagos Book & Art Festival, LABAF scheduled to take place from 4-10 November 2019 at the Freedom Park, Lagos.

It is the 21st edition of the week-long annual “feast of Life and Ideas”, which critics have dubbed the “biggest culture picnic on the continent;” and the theme is “EMERGE… Breaking into the NEW.”

The idea of the yearly conferment of Honours on select members of the culture producing community is to formally acknowledge the immense contributions of each of the honourees to the development of the creative sector; essentially to spotlight them as role models to the robust tribe of younger artists, many of who indeed owe their career and successes to the generous selfless giving(s) of the honourees’ intellectual, moral and material resources. The honour is, however, conferred on such individuals as they each attain a milestone in their lives, starting from those clocking 60s and above.

The honourees for the year are:

The Octogenarians:

  1. Wole Soyinka at 85 – Dramatist, Director
  2. Tunji Oyelana at 80 – Musician, culture activist

The 60s Club:

  1. Theo Lawsonarchitect, culture activist
  2. Segun Ojewuyi – theatre director, teacher
  3. Mahmood Ali-Balogun – theatre artiste, filmmaker
  4. Moji Bamtefa – theatre artiste, arts manager
  5. Tope Babayemi – arts administrator, activist
  6. Norbert Young – actor, acting teacher
  7. Jerry Buhari – painter, fine arts teacher
  8. George Ufot – arts administrator
  9. Edmond Enaibe – actor, art activist
  10. Kunle Adeyemi – visual artist, teacher

 This year’s edition of LABAF would also be dedicated to the memory of the master artist, Dr. David Herbert Dale, who passed on in the morning of Tuesday, August 6, 2019 following a protracted illness.



Widely regarded as a legend of the visual arts, and unarguably, one of the most prolific African artists of the century, as a result of his enormous contributions to the Nigerian, and even global art community, DHD was born in Lagos in 1947 to a Scottish expatriate Produce Inspector father and Nigerian mother of Itsekiri/Ijaw extraction in the Niger Delta region. He studied Fine Art and Art History at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1971, specializing in Illustration and Graphic Design. In his almost five decades of artistic practice, he consistently worked in 23 different media including charcoal, oil, beads, glass bead works, water colour, gouache, and stained-glass media. He was the graphic consultant to the 2nd Festival of Black and African Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77) art exhibition. Same year, he resumed at the University of Lagos as a lecturer. His works have featured in exhibitions globally (including U.S., U.K., Canada, former USSR, Germany, Spain, France, Holland, Sweden, Brazil, Japan, Australia, New Zealand) and acquired by notable collectors including Sammy Olagbaju and Chief Rashid Gbadamosi (both late),  Dr. Mike Adenuga and Omooba Yemisi Shyllon and a list of others. In 2013, he suffered a stroke which led to a plethora of other health complications. A notable cause of this is the poisoning of his system from fumes of Araldite, a primary material of his artistic productions. Even while his health deteriorated, he continued to produce works up until his death.


Described as ‘Africa’s biggest cultural picnic,’ LABAF is a week-long comprehensive open-air carnivalesque ‘feast of Life and Ideas’ featuring a mix-grill of artistic and cultural events  including: exhibitions of books and arts,  live reading sessions; conversations around books; seminars on visual, performing and allied arts; displays of paintings, sculptures, mixed media, installations and crafts; children and youths art workshops; live music, poetry, drama and dance presentations among others. Preceding the last three (weekend) days of the weeklong event is a four-day Pre-Festival series of events which include a Publishers’ Forum, Writers’ workshops and Book Treks (writers’ visits to schools and engagement with pupils). Overall, it is a carnivalesque atmosphere created to make books look cool.

More at