Ekene Ngige has found a way to blend his passion for coffee and arts by using this commodity to express himself in his Lagos based studio in Nigeria.
The 35-year-old artist is working on a portrait of a young Muslim girl recently affected by Boko Haram’s insurrection in the north-east of the country.
For eight years, the revolt of the armed group has seen the kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls and caused at least 20,000 deaths.
I wanted to pursue this career since school, you know painting has helped me several times to pay bills. So when I was studying, it was very encouraging to see that the banks could come to my studio at school to buy one of my works and help me.
The artist who feels that the problem is not highlighted enough, tries to bring it to the fore through his art.
Ekene Ngige begins by sketching the subject on paper or canvas, then uses a mixture of coffee and water to bring out his ideas.
He begun his works in 2016 after an interesting discovery in 2014.
“I love coffee, I love coffee… I am a coffee lover and one day I was drinking a cup… we were in a meeting, a short meeting and I was drinking a cup when it spilled on my block. The color was so beautiful on the paper, the texture so beautiful that I thought it could make a very beautiful work. So I’m told that when I get back, I’ll try to do that”, Ngige said.
Ekene Ngige who studied fine arts began painting using acrylic, oil and water-colour before moving on to coffee.
“I wanted to pursue this career since school, you know painting has helped me several times to pay bills. So when I was studying, it was very encouraging to see that the banks could come to my studio at school to buy one of my works and help me… give me money to buy more materials and pay my tuition fees and because of that, I believed in my career, I believed in it so much that I continued” , he added.
The artist is planning to show his paintings during a show at a local café show this year. He says his art reflects the problems that affect society.
To preserve his paintings and prevent them from being damaged, the artist adds a gloss varnish finish.
Ngige says it gives his pieces a brilliant effect and can protect his work for at least 100 years.