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For Moyo Ogunseinde, working in architecture and real estate development is a channel through which her love for design is manifested. For her, it’s about finding the sweet spot between design and culture and that intersection is what she has created in the AGA lifestyle design brand.
Stepping into AGA boutique store inside Radisson Blu Anchorage hotel in Victoria Island Lagos, you are immediately embraced by the nostalgic feeling of being in a traditional African home; From the intricately carved wooden stools reminiscent of your grandmother’s kitchen, to the simple benches we sat on in the front yard and the handwoven mats on the floor.
Creativity is deeply ingrained in the human experience, and what the AGA lifestyle brand has done, is to explore the African experience through creative design.
‘’We are catering to an audience that is interested in experiencing culture in a different and fresh way. An audience that understands that culture is not just in the past but a very important part of the future. We also want to highlight a calm, effortless lifestyle.” Moyo says.
The AGA lifestyle is about creating the complete African experience; so it’s not just art decor, but the food, the clothes, the music and the general ambience. We want you to feel the African cultural experience in a unique way.
We have an ethos called The AGA Culture; those are the tenets we abide by and they are based on ‘Ife’ (Love), ‘Alafia’ (Peace), ‘Inu rere’ (goodness) ‘Ayo’ (Joy) ‘Ifokan bake’ (Calmness)
We want the AGA culture to be in the consciousness of everyone. We want our audience to be immersed in a holistic African experience. We want you to feel these tenets; the love, joy, peace and beauty. We want people to experience the Africa that is beautiful and joyful and that is why we have created the AGA series” Moyo enthused.
Apart from shwoing how Africa’s traditions and ancestral knowledge are making African design and stories relevant. the AGA series is also a showcase platform for artistic talents.
For multimedia artist Abolore Shobayo, partnering with the AGA Series for his Jelesimi exhibition was like a match made in creative heaven. Jelesimi is about preservation of Yoruba cultural heritage by inspiring and encouraging the prevalent use of the language.
Across the room, his works are displayed; from Yoruba texts with tone marks painted in vibrant colors, to paintings, drawings and installations showing various aspects of the Yoruba cultural aesthetics.
“I’m passionate about preserving indigenous languages because that is one of the most important ways that culture is handed down; that’s why across this exhibition, you will notice the use of indigenous alphabets and slates (local writing) is prominently featured” He says.
A graduate of painting from Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Sobayo is Interested in building an enabling environment for creativity and artistic expression to thrive; this he does through the Sobayo Abolore Art Foundation (SAAF); a non-profit that focuses on engaging children and youths, luring them away from social violence, while inspiring social change through the Jelesimi Art Center located in Oshodi Lagos.
“Being born and growing up in Oshodi, I know that 3 out of 5 children in the neighbourhood drop out of school. The community art center is working to change that. The idea is not to target young people in Oshodi alone, but to start from there and let the light shine around the world. I believe it’s important to give back to the community I grew up from. There are so many youths who don’t have anything to do and the art center encourages them to channel their community into positives.” He explained.
Sunday’s edition was the first of the series, packaged by Circuit.NG; the evening featured intimate acoustic performances by emerging Nigerian RnB talents Bibicentric and Lex Ash, while guests enjoyed Nigerian delicacies and drinks and networked.
Photos from the exhibition