Stand in any metropolitan corridor and ask the art scene denizens there what they understand about Aniekan Udofia. Some may listing the 33-12 months-old the various maximum gifted visible artists of his technology, with national attention on his work in hip hop magazines consisting of XXL, Vibe and The Source.
And on a local level, others might even christen the Nigerian artist as “the face of the D.C. Artwork motion that mixes political subject matters with a hip-hop aesthetic.” But no matter what you hear, Aniekan will inform you himself they only scratch the surface of who he really is.
For starters, meet his dad and mom, Dr. George and Edna Udofia. They got here to the U.S. From Nigeria for faculty even as Civil War raged back of their home usa (the Nigeria-Biafra War lasted from July 6, 1967 to Jan. 15, 1970). Nigerians first came to america to attend American universities, proceeding to return domestic, writes Kalu Ogbaa in his book “The Nigerian Americans.” But for list of ghana phone numbers the first time in Nigeria history, the civil war “became the motive of immigration, and greater college students from the struggle-ravaged Eastern Nigeria without problems made right instances for his or her immigration to the USA.” So George and Edna studied regulation and nursing, respectively, at universities in Washington, D.C. They settled down and started a own family. Aniekan, the second one of 5 youngsters and the primary son within the family, became born on Nov. 26, 1975.
Ogbaa, professor of English and Africana Studies at Southern Connecticut State University, keeps: “The gloomy sociopolitical and economic situations in Nigeria due to their civil war had been so unbearable for Easterners that everybody desired to flee the us of a.” By 1980, the variety of Nigerian immigrants in the U.S. Rose to 25,528. In addition, the emergence of navy dictatorships, the abuse of strength and denial of human rights additionally brought about a mass exodus of trained employees in college institutions from Nigeria. By 1990, the variety of Nigerians inside the U.S. Extra than doubled to 55,350. But in preference to following the fashion, George and Edna determined to whisk their kids away from their birth vicinity in Northwest D.C. To Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom kingdom in 1982.
Aniekan, who become 7 at the time of the ride, is of the Ibibio human beings, one of greater than 250 ethnic corporations in Nigeria – the 3 most famous being Yoruba, Ibo (or Igbo) and Hausa-Fulani. Located in southeastern Nigeria, especially inside the Cross River nation, the Ibibio are rainforest cultivators of yams, taro, and cassava. They export in general palm oil and palm kernels; they’re also referred to for their skillful wooden carving.
Back in Nigeria, George taught French in high school, and Edna become a fitness educator. They had excessive hopes for their first son, Aniekan. “As a patriarchal society, sons are trained to be strong and assertive and to develop management traits with a view to allow them to inherit the management roles in their fathers at domestic, need to such fathers die or turn out to be antique, unwell, or infirm,” Ogbaa writes. In addition, “They are alleged to be providers of their circle of relatives members’ needs and to provide them safety as well as emotional and economic protection always.” According to Aniekan, his dad and mom idea he changed into destined to visit university and primary in something more sensible than artwork, or pick up a exchange and work together with his fingers. But alternatively, he embraced a motion from remote places.
Having grown up on highlife, a musical style that originated in Ghana inside the 1900s earlier than sooner or later spreading to Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other West African international locations by 1920, Aniekan was acquainted with legends such as Ibo highlife innovator Sonny Okosun and Victor Olaiya, a Yoruba singer and trumpeter. But hip hop captured the then-17-12 months-vintage in approaches highlife could not. “It was the expression of it…Even with Slick Rick, how he tells the story,” Aniekan recollects. “He’s rapping, but it’s like he is making a song…The art of twisting words.” (He likened taking note of Kool G Rap, a specific wordsmith, to “gambling Tetris at excessive-speed.”) Aniekan’s first encounter with the artwork shape become through a chum, who exceeded him a Kid ‘N Play cassette tape in 1992. Other encounters got here via pals who got VHS tapes of Yo! MTV Raps from their spouse and children inside the U.S. “We did not have a VCR,” Aniekan says. “It changed into like one person inside the hood had one, so we might all go 15 deep to that character’s crib, grasp out, watch the ones videos and get all hype, trying to speak like the guys within the motion pictures.”