There’s a superior power that controls me –Wewe


Political offices can be so sweet that many people who have a taste of them hardly ever want to let go. Hence, when they lose such for whatever reason, they still hang around the corridor of power. But this is not the case with Tola Wewe.

The seasoned visual artist is one of the people, who in recent years emerged from an ‘unusual’ quarters to cling political appointments. Until some months back, he was the commissioner for culture and tourism in Ondo State. Last December, he was at the centre of the trade that made him when he organised an exhibition in Lagos. Part of what passed for the Wewe’s surprise package was that many of the works he had on display at the posh Nike Gallery, Victoria Island, venue of the exhibition, were those he produced in 2011.

To him, this is not a strange feat. First, even when he was a commissioner, the artist in him was very alive. He did not fling his brush and paint into Igbo Olodumare or any other forest-of-no-return. Besides, nearly every experience he had inspired a theme or concept. Like a Wale Okediran writing Tenants of the House after leaving House of Representatives, it is such an experience that gave birth to one of the works most prominent on the wall at the exhibition – a painting depicting a group of women that entertain politicians at campaign rallies and other similar functions. Wewe discovered that each time when he was a commissioner, members of the cabinet went on an assignment, there were some women dancing, ‘waiting for Mr. Governor’.

“For some years, I have gone through several styles, experiences and forms. I had a lot to do in the last three years. I strayed into politics. Now that I have returned, I am revisiting all the themes and styles I have worked by. I am saying I am still what I was. Tola Wewe remains the same. For now I am fully into arts. I am not saying bye to politics. But since government decided to dissolve the cabinet, those of us who have jobs have to go back to our jobs. That’s why it is good to leave politics to those who have jobs, not to jobless people who take it to be a do-or-die affair.”

Asked how he managed to produce the volume of paintings on exhibition within a short time, he says he is used to doing so. According to him, it is possible for him to produce and exhibit within three months.

“At times I don’t know what to paint. I just take my brush and paint and begin to paint. I have the feeling there is a superior power controlling me,” he notes. The exhibition was sponsored by Etisalat.
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