Part 4

Career and character profile : Oliver Enwonwu

Desiderata has three concepts:

  • Aesthetics: anything that relates to art or beauty (Webster, 2015).
  • Ethics: beliefs on what is good or bad morally (Webster, 2015).
  • Reason: an explanation on why something is done or seen in a certain way, way of thinking and why something would be the way it is (Webster, 2015).

Desiderata is the product of a combination of the three concepts and how designers desire (aspiration) the world to be (Nelson & Stolterman 2012:107).

Vision and agenda

  • His vision is to give Nigerian local artists the platform to show case their work.

Purpose, philosophy and principle

  • He’s dedicated in promoting Nigerian local artist and those emerging.
  • He believes in celebrating the rhythmic movement of the female form in dance through his art.

Influences, precedents and role models

He was influenced by his late father Professor Ben Enwonwu, who was a world renown artist and sculptor. Growing up he spent a lot of time in his father’s studio learning art.

Biography: Life story: partnerships and relationships

Oliver is son of the late world famous Nigerian fine artist and sculptor Professor Ben Enwonwu. He graduated at the University of Lagos where he obtained his qualification in Biochemistry and Geophysics. Oliver did not go to art school as a child but his father encouraged him to draw and paint as a way of discovering his abilities. He is the founding chief-in-editor of Omenka Magazine, the chairman of the president of Nigerian society of the artist Lagos Chapter (Aratuntun,2010).

Here is some of the  paintings Oliver Emwonwu where he conceptualised the head wrap

Figure 20: Oliver Emwonwu

Figure 20: Oliver Emwonwu

Figure 20: Oliver Emwonwu

Figure 20: Oliver Emwonwu

CD cover


Title: ‪ Xa Bendingena Mama

Artist: Zahara

Soundtrack: The soundtrack is in Xhosa language. In the song she says that if she had a mother she would have her put a head wrap around her head when she gets married. Just as in most if not all cultures the head wrap is symbolic of marriage.

Reference List:

Part 2- 4 editors, 2015. Erykah Badu. Available on: [Accessed 29 September 2015]. editors, 2015. Erykah Badu. Available on: [Accessed on 30 September 2015].

Campagna . J, 2012. ‘Wrapping your mind around African headwrapping at Africa underground. Available on: [Accessed 01 October 2015].

Cassandre, 2014. Shocking History. Available: on: [Accessed 3 March 2015]

Emwonwu . O, 2014. Omenka. Available on: [Accessed 30 September 2015].

Nelson H.G & Stolterman. E, 2012. The design way: Desiderata. 2nd ed, pg:107,

MIT Press : Cambridge.


Part 2- 4

Figure 3,4 & 5: [Accessed 29 September 2015]

Figure 6 & 7: Huget Photography, 2015. Zen Magazine Africa. Link: [Accessed 29 September 2015].

Amber Rose, 2012. Link:

Solange Knowles. Link:

India Arie. Grammy Awards. Link:

Kelly Rowland. Link:

Figure 16: Mmandi Nhowa: [Accessed 30 September 2015].

Figure 17: Link: [Accessed 30 September 2015].

Figure 18: Oliver Enwonwu. Link: [Accessed 30 September 2015].


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