Peju Alatise Is The Non-conformist Artist Challenging The Status Quo In Nigeria And Abroad


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Peju Alatise trained as an architect at the university but she never practiced it because she was in love with arts.

Her interest was always in being creative, as she always loved to paint, draw and make things

In a chat with Aljazeera, Peju said, “I thought people were just born creative and it was just an existence. I thought it’s like being born tall or short until I went to a gallery and then I saw people sell (art). I was really surprised.”

As a result of this realisation, Peju started an informal education in the craft. As a young girl, she would visit Dale’s studio during her school holidays to see pieces in progress and watch his studio assistants at work.

She also visited Jakande, a crafts market in Lagos, where she spent time with the artisans sculpting objects, painting and piecing together jewellery.

When Peju started on this path, she was faced with challenges especially from her father who saw art as a waste of time. However, two years before he died, he had a change of mind about her choice of career.

Aware that she was growing up in a country that did not respect women as much as they should, Peju always find herself challenging the norm.

“Nigeria brings out the beast in me. It’s not easy to get things done, especially in the creative industry. You cannot be laid back especially if you’re female. You have to be really aggressive. If a man is giving orders they just do what he says, but for a woman you have to raise your voice a little bit higher for them to take you seriously. Especially if you look small and you’re not a big fat madam who’s wearing a gold chain and gold earrings with a big car.” she said

Aljazeera has the full interview



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