Art is life, art builds bridges, these popular clichés are what art lovers and connoisseurs have used to describe art. In this light, a young Nigerian, Kanyeyachukwu Tagbo-Okeke was a recipient of the prestigious Flame of Peace (Flamme des Friedens) award in Vienna Austria. An award that art critics have described as spectacular and phenomenal, for the first time a child of his age and an African winning it in the history of the award.
Kanyeyachukwu was discovered by an art enthusiast who visited the Nigerian ambassador to Vienna, Austria. Having seen his works been displayed, history was made so they say. His work was then included amongst the paintings to be on display at the prestigious OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) art exhibition. The OFID is an OPEC funded project which holds an annual art exhibition that brings together artistes from all over the world to showcase their works. Over seventy artistes exhibiting and crème de la crème of the art world present at this year’s competition.
Speaking about the award, Sylvia Tagbo-Okeke said that, “we are happy that Kanye won the award. We have noticed his artistic skills and we are sure that he would go places. This award has shown that Nigerian kids can go places if given the opportunity and enabling environment. This award is not only for us but for Nigeria as a country,” an elated mother concluded.
With recognition from the global body, Kanye was awarded the United Nations young artists for Peace. On giving the award, Dr. Kolja Kramer added that “we are delighted to be able to inform the public that the selected Artist, Kayne will receive a medal by the Flame of Peace Association handed over by the President of this institution HIRH Archduchess Herta Margarete Habsburg-Lothringen during the opening ceremony of the PEACE exhibition.”
Flame of Peace (Flamme des Friedens) is an award granted by the Austrian non-profit organization Vereins zur Förderung des Friedens (Association for the Promotion of Peace), which promotes world peace. The eleven year old Kanyeyachukwu Tagbo-Okeke has put Nigeria in the art map as the first sub Saharan African child to be honored with such an award.