I used to wonder what our older folks were up to like 200 years ago – most often I come up with nothing apart from Oduduwa – Lamurudu stories which obviously are folklore. Not that Oduduwa didn’t exist, I just don’t believe he fell out of the sky. Granted, there were some stories of Benin and their wondrous artifacts which the British stole.
Surely my Pales weren’t living in caves – and it wasn’t all about Ijapa and Yannibo.
But there was some dude, Olowe of Ise. He’s probably one of, if not, the greatest African sculptors who ever lived. He carved some magical doors and lintels; one is still at the British Museum till date. He was from Ise-Ekiti but worked far and wide. I’m not sure if I got my name from his but then, who would mind? You can read more about some of Olowe of Ise Biography on Wikipedia and see some of his doors here.
The only amazing, or do I say sad thing, about him is that the average lad on the street of Lagos, or Ise for that matter, doesn’t even know him. We all know about Lawrence of Arabia, King Arthur, bla bla, yet we don’t know such a great gem of history.