Nike’s Roundtable Talk: Promoting Africa’s Art and Cultural Heritage

Mrs Nike Okundaye, Founder, Nike Art and Cultural Foundation(fourth from left, sitting) and her husband, in a group photograph with discussants and guests; Mrs Opral Benson( second left, sitting) and Former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders.


                                               Debby with Queen Ahneva Ahneva
The 2013 edition of the roundtable symposium organised by the Nike Art and Cultural Foundation held on Dec. 15 at the Nike Art Gallery.

The symposium, which was titled ‘Tradition and Communication in Modern Art’  had a team of discussants who had critical analysis of sub-themes which formed  parts of the major title of the discussion.

The discussion was initiated three years ago as a contribution of the Nike Art and Cultural Foundation to set agenda in the arts to highlight relevant issues that concern art development in Nigeria.  

In this regard, the sub-themes of the symposium took a critical look at issues under ‘Impact of Tradition and Communication on Society; ‘Conflicts in Western Religion and Tradition,’ and ‘Sustenance of Our Rich Heritage.’

The commentators included artist and art writer, Chuka Nnabuife, public affairs commentator and social critic, Dan Aloh and African heritage crusader, Queen Ahneva Ahneva, and it was moderated by Emmanuel Agozino.

They looked at issues that analysed the importance of marking the progress of art (  Nike’s art progress was  cited as an example) and  noted that it was necessary to follow works of art that express cultural history with something to leave with the people.

Queen Ahneva Ahneva  expressed a passion for African heritage through  fashion styles which  are original to Africa. She has been identified with the slogan ‘ When you wear your heritage, you wear your crown.’


She shared her wonderful experience of how she was able to make an African statement of originality through fashionable wears created from choice African fabrics.  She made it known that African fashion clothing showcased a rich cultural heritage and not just a costume as many people had erroneously thought.

Notably, she has traveled to different African countries and created remarkable fashion designs using a combination of African textiles and design motifs.

She  has also made a distinctive mark with her  Broadway-style fashion show tagged ‘ Fashion Heritage- The cultural connection,’  a show  that  has enjoyed a fantastic reception among fashion lovers across several African countries and in the United States of America.

For Queen Ahneva Ahneva, home is not only Chicago, Illinois, her heart loves Africa dearly and that is why in 2007 she relocated her business operations to the fashion-savvy, bustling city of Lagos, Nigeria.