Chief (Mrs) Nike Okundaye can be described as the goddess of Adire. Having built an empire off preserving the culture of traditional (Yoruba) textile making in Nigeria, she deserves a crown for her contribution in promoting the art of textile design, just like her flamboyant gele.
The 68-year-old traditional art expert has no formal education as she grew up in an environment of traditional weaving and dying as practised in her home town of Ogidi, Kogi state. Since that was all the education she got, she went on to build an industry around it.
For 20 years, Okundaye who never learned in the traditional walls of a classroom has trained and lectured over 3,000 Nigerians in creating art with their hands. Her gallery named Nike Art Gallery, is known for preserving the beauty of the Yoruba tradition which most have chosen to forget due to western civilization.
She is also the founder and director of four art centres which offer free training to over 150 young artists in visual, musical and performing arts, comprising over 7,000 artworks. The art expert has also travelled to deliver lectures in textile in several countries across USA and in Europe.