Nigérian Artist, Adeyinka Provokes Brazil, Exhibits In-depth Yoruba Divinity

By Gbenga Sodeinde

In a bold and daring move, Nigerian artist, Akinwunmi Adewale, has taken the Brazilian art world by storm with his latest exhibition, “Yoruba Divinity on Canvas”. The exhibition features a series of paintings that explore the rich mythology and spiritual traditions of the Yoruba people, one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Adeyinka Olaiya, the Igbo community, Oba Aderonmu and the Nig.Ambassador to Brazil, Prof Makarfi

Adeyinka Olaiya’s paintings are a celebration of Yoruba divinities, or orishas, which are believed to be powerful spiritual forces that can influence the lives of humans.

Each painting depicts a different orisha, from the fierce warrior god Ogun to the gentle goddess of love and fertility, Osun.



The exhibition has caused a stir among the Brazilian art community, with some critics praising Olaiya’s bold and vibrant style, while others have criticized the use of religious iconography in his work.

However, the Nigerian ambassador to Brazil, Prof. Mohammad Makarfi has come out in support of Adeyinka Olaiya calling his work a “powerful and important representation of Nigerian culture and heritage”.

In a statement released to the press, Ambassador Muhammad-Makarfi said, “We are proud to see a Nigerian artist showcasing our rich cultural heritage on the international stage. Olaiya’s paintings are a testament to the enduring power and beauty of Yoruba mythology, and we hope that they will help to foster greater understanding and appreciation of our culture here in Brazil.”

Art enthusiasts at the exhibition

The exhibition has also drawn the attention of collectors and art enthusiasts from around the world, with several of Olaiya’s paintings already attracting Art collectors in Latin America . One painting, depicting the Òrìşà of prosperity , Ajé has attracted the interest of Ajé society in Brazil

Adeyinka , who was born in Lagos , said that he was inspired to create the exhibition after realizing that many people in Brazil, and around the world, were unaware of the depth and richness of Yoruba culture.

Oba Aderounmu With Adeyinka Olaiya

“I wanted to show people that our culture is not just about drums and dance,” Adeyinka Olaiya said. “We have a complex and sophisticated spiritual tradition that is just as valid and meaningful as any other.

“My hope is that these paintings will help to spark a deeper appreciation of our culture and heritage among people all over the world.”

The exhibition, which is being held at the prestigious Gallery , Centro Cultural Casa de Angola , São Paulo, has already attracted hundreds of visitors, and is expected to continue to draw crowds in the coming weeks. For Adeyinka , it is a moment of pride and accomplishment, as he sees his work being appreciated and celebrated on the international stage.

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“I am grateful for this opportunity to share my art and my culture with the world,” Adeyinka said. “It is a humbling and inspiring experience, and I hope that it will inspire other Nigerian artists to share their own unique perspectives and voices with the world as well

Oba Aderonmu , Elder Michael Adebowale , Adeyinka Olaiya and the Nígeria Ambr to Brazil , Prof. Makarfi

An abstract expressionist Adeyinka Olaiya has gained international recognition for his abstract paintings and mixed media works, which explore the spiritual traditions of the Yoruba people. In his exhibition at the Centro Cultural Casa de Angola, Olaiya’s work was celebrated for its innovative and powerful expression of Yoruba spirituality during the opening ceremony by the Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil


Olaiya’s paintings and mixed media works are characterized by bold, vibrant colors and dynamic abstract forms that evoke the energy and vitality of Yoruba spirituality. Many of her works feature motifs and symbols drawn from Yoruba mythology, including the orishas, or powerful spiritual forces that are believed to influence human destiny.

One of Olaiya’s most celebrated works is a large mixed media piece entitled “Ogun ,” which depicts the Yoruba warrior god Ogun as a dynamic force of creation and destruction. The piece features a complex mix of materials, including metal, wire, fabric, and paint, which come together to create a powerful and evocative image.

Title- Orunmila-Ifa and the 16 Literary Corpus

Olaiya’s work has been praised for its ability to capture the essence of Yoruba spirituality in a visual language that is both accessible and profound. In an interview with the Brazil Tv , Olaiya explained that he sees his work as a way of exploring the spiritual dimensions of her culture and connecting with the broader human experience.

I’m interested in exploring the deeper meanings and energies that underlie our existence,” Olaiya said. “For me, art is a way of tapping into those energies and communicating them to others.”

Adeyinka Olaiya’s work is a testament to the enduring power and relevance of Yoruba spirituality,” Prof. Izidoro said. “His innovative use of mixed media and abstract forms allows him to explore these spiritual traditions in a way that is both deeply rooted in tradition and thoroughly contemporary.”

The exhibition has helped to raise awareness of Yoruba spirituality and culture among audiences in Brazil and beyond, and has helped to cement Olaiya’s reputation as one of Nigeria’s most innovative and visionary artists in diaspora.

Adeyinka and the Nig. Ambassador to Brazil , Prof. Mohammad Makarfi


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