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  Sly Megida—born Okenwa Chimaobi Emmanuel –is an artist, filmmaker, and Creative Director of Coke Spice Art Limited, an outfit that aims to revolutionize contemporary art. He’s a painter of murals, motifs, and graffiti, and a fashion illustrator of growing repute.
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Sly’s engagement with art began early in his life. While in school, he excelled at drawing assignments and was known for his strength in visual art. After a patch in which he stopped drawing, he rediscovered his flair for arts in university. His success with paid portraiture gigs inspired him to pursue a career in arts. In 2017, sly organized his first exhibition with a group of other artists. Themed ‘Never Mind’, the event was a tribute to young creatives and a call for them to explore the worlds beyond the restrictions they faced. It featured works from various artists from across Nigeria, and a collection of Sly’s own work: Woman One Minute Wonder, Yellow Sisi, Dance to the Talking Drum, Lost, Vibe, African Woman, and A Girl Has No Name. Never Mind was a success; it was covered by several TV and radio stations, including Channels TV and NTA. It was also attended by several dignitaries, one of whom was a special representative of the Minister of Culture and Tourism. In the wake of that event, Sly was invited to exhibit and speak on other occasions. He was an exhibiting artist at the MTN Walk for Peace, Abuja, in 2017, and was a keynote speaker at Dfix (Defining the Future through Innovation), later that year. He also exhibited at the Exploring Cultural Boundaries event at the Korean Cultural Center in 2018, and participated at the Ben Enwonwu Art Symposium in 2019.
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The year 2019 saw Sly gain national acclaim for his painting, Abena. Dubbed ‘the African Mona Lisa’ by its admirers, the work depicts an African woman dressed in colourful garb, and wearing a head tie shaped like the continent of Africa. Sly was interviewed by Silverbird Television, Beat FM Lagos, and Naija FM Lagos. Following the traction he received for Abena, Sly was commissioned to paint portraits of several prominent persons and celebrities: the Ooni of Ife, the Obalufe of Ife, Don Jazzy, Pato Ranking, and Bella Schmurda. He also delved into filmmaking and produced the following short films: Hope, Virus, Abena, Black Magic, and A Moment in Time. Another project, ‘The Drug of Art’, was executed in 2020. Sly produced a body of work dealing with themes around vices common among the youth, particularly drug abuse. One of them was a short film titled Say No to Drugs. He spoke about the dangers of drug abuse to students of various educational institutions, including the University of Lagos, and was interviewed by UNILAG FM. Besides his paintings on canvas and filmmaking projects, Sly has also been contracted to do mural work. He was tasked with beautifying sections of the Mavin Records building, which he completed with commendation from the record’s artistes. He’s designed fashion outfits for major figures in pop culture, including Dare Art Alade, Pato Ranking, and Dapo Tu Burner. Sly identifies with art the Tribal and Afropop traditions and creates items that are both uniquely African and contemporary in their outlook. Featured Image Source: AKpraise
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This article was first published on 18th October 2021


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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