By Benjamine Ama, The Sight News
Abuja-Wunderkammer is a neat little German word which means a ‘room of wonder’, filled with incredible, awe-inspiring objects, trinkets, pictures, drawings, paintings, sketches and other art objects with the aim of educating, instructing and entertaining.
This was the scenario over the weekend when the Gbagyi women of Gwarimpa Village were celebrated in an art exhibition by Dr. Nwankwo Chidinma Cindy Ogbonnaya in commemoration of the 2018 International Women’s Day.
Dr. Nwankwo, a Ph.D Painting graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, held the art exhibition in Abuja, in honour of the Gbagyi women of Gwarimpa Village, who in their unique way assisted her before and during her research for her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) program by presenting themselves, their culture and tradition to her as a specimen for her research, with the topic “The Forms of Gbagyi Women”.
The occasion was graced by the Wife of the former Governor of Kogi State, Mrs Farida Wada, the Head Mistress of Gwarimpa Primary School, Mrs Hagera Mussa; the Village head of Gwarimpa Community and his Chiefs as well as the youth and Children of Gwarimpa Community.
Speaking with The Sight News at the art exhibition, the exhibitor of “The Forms of Gbagyi Women” said, “the reason why I wanted to celebrate these women is the fact that I saw the women as women of substance in the world, they are very energetic, very progressive and very active”.
She further explained that in the year 2013, when she came to them to study and research about their culture, they (Gbagyi women) did not hesitate in giving her all the information which she required in writing her thesis.
According to her, among all the information she was given concerning the Gbagyi people, she was more interested in the fact that the Gbagyi woman would rather carry her load on her shoulders instead of her head and as a visual artist, it inspired her to paint about the forms of these women.
Her drawings and paintings which she titled “The Series of Gbagyi Women”, depicts the Gbagyi woman in her natural state, an industrious mother who works on the farm, makes poultry, carries load on her shoulders and at the same time takes care of the family.
On another of her painting, she said represented the shape of the Gbagyi woman who carries things on her shoulders not minding the weight creating a hump on her back, which she interpreted as the beautiful curves and shapes of the hard working women of Gwarimpa Village.
On her part, the wife of the former Governor of Kogi State, and CEO of Africa Foundation, Mrs Farida Wada who graced the occasion, said that culture is the bedrock of the nation or any society and the Gbagyi culture is very Unique in its own way as it portrays women carrying loads on their shoulders as against the head, which is what is attainable in other societies.
She further stated that she was there to show her support to the Young Doctor at the exhibition, and also expressed joy over the little education which she received concerning the Gbagyi culture.
Also, Mrs Hagera Mussa, expressed excitement over the fact that Dr. Nwankwo dimmed it wise to carry out an art exhibition in the community. She however noted that as an educator and instructor, parts of her job is to teach the art and culture of Gbagyi to the Children of the community and thereby expressed pleasure of being assisted in duties.
The exhibition was titled, “Gbagyi Beauty: An exhibition of Drawings, Paintings and Book Forms”