SPECIAL REPORT: Autism patient breaks barrier, organises art exhibition in Abuja

By Idris Ibrahim

Ifeanyi Chukwu Obigene, is breaking down barriers despite battling autism as the young talented visual artist displayed his artistic work at an exhibition Monday in Abuja.

Mr Obigene who is currently a pre-degree student at the special education in Premiere Schools Abuja, organised an art exhibition with the theme “Rhythms”.

The exhibition which showcases the splendid, creative skills of Mr Obigene’ artistic collection will continue till November 26 at the Premiere School, 26 N’djamena Crescent, Wuse II, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

So far, the exhibition has attracted a lot of spectators including representatives across civic groups in Nigeria.

The autism patient told Newsdiaryonline reporter during the ceremony of the Monday that he has passion for drawing and painting.

” I love painting, drawing animals, abstract objects. I love colours a lot as you can see from my art works how I blended different colours,” he said.

Autism autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviour, speech and non verbal communication.

Adapting to life with autism was never easy for Mr. Obigene and his parents, but, against all odds, the teenager was able to carve a niche for himself as he ventured into visual art which is a lucrative business in Nigeria.

On January 23, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, following 9 years of relentless advocacy by disability rights groups and activists.

In his reaction, Humphrey Ukeaja, Research Officer, Centre for Citizens with Disability said his organisation will that they showcase Mr. Obigene’s art collection across the country.

I walked in here, I couldn’t just believe what I saw. I don’t draw, what Ifeanyi has done today is something special that everybody should appreciate,” the research officer said.

The exhibition was declared open by Ifeanyi alongside his parents, school teachers and well wishers.

Others who graced the are; Francis Oko, Director, Ike Foundation for Autism, Mrs Lois Aura, Director, Cedar Seed Foundation amongst others.