April 17, 2020

Ekene Ngige was born in Lagos, Nigeria on the 8th of January 1982. He was a victim of Polio at the age of one and suffered paralysis in his leg and spine bones till date. He started drawing at the age of three and has since recorded tremendous success as an accomplished artist.


He spilled coffee on his writing pad during a meeting. There and then he connected and fell in love with the color and texture. This gave him the idea to try out coffee as a paint medium. His coffee art has hit the news worldwide and he has been involved in a series of exhibitions in well-reputed galleries like Mydrim and Didi Museum.


Ekene exhibited at the inaugural edition of IMPART.  In this edition of Pink Bench, Ekene talks about his childhood, love for coffee and vulnerability.


Ekene Ngige photographed with his works at the first edition of IMPART


Q: What was it like growing up? Do you have childhood memories that you are particularly fond of?


Growing up was beautiful despite the physical challenges. I had a strong family support that made me feel extraordinary. I have so many fun childhood memories, I'm smiling right now remembering how I used the goalie when we play street soccer and I was allowed to use my clutches as my extra arms to stop the ball from going into the net. 😄


Q: Have you always wanted to be an artist?


Yes! I have always wanted to be an artist.


Q: Is there something about being an artist that makes you feel vulnerable? Does this reflect in your work?


Well... Kinda. The truth in my artworks which I'm not afraid to tell makes me feel vulnerable sometimes.



Peace Offering, 2017

Q: The medium for most of your works is ‘Coffee on canvas’ which makes your pieces very distinct. Why did you decide on this medium?


I am a coffee lover, I stumbled upon the coffee painting on paper and I loved the fact I could create a monochromatic artwork from my favorite beverage and the smell is still there! so I decided to upgrade to using canvas and sticking to it because its stands out and its COFFEE! 😁


Q: Do you think the art market in Africa is monopolized by a small number of very successful artists?


It used to be so but that is gradually changing.


“I try to view the positives in every situation,

no matter how bad it is and make artworks from them.

It gives hope and peace.

My Mantra would be " it's all good".


A coffee moment of peace, 2018


Q: What would you say is by far the most exciting piece you have created ?


The most exciting piece I have created is THE COFFEE BREAK. The piece was the solution to a peaceful planet earth before the Pandemic. So I guess one leader is missing from that piece.


Coffee Break


Q: Would you say the current global situation of uncertainty due to COVID-19 is influencing and reflecting in your recent works?


Not yet. I have ideas already and they will make people feel warm and hopeful than reminding them of the fear of the virus. That’s how I love to impact people with my artworks.


Q: What do you want to be remembered for as your legacy?


I want to be remembered as the great African coffee artist that impacted the art world with his coffee paintings.


Q: Would you say you have an artistic outlook on life? If so, what’s your mantra?


Yes, I do. I try to view the positives in every situation no matter how bad it is and make artworks from them. It gives hope and peace. My Mantra would be " it's all good"


Q: Do you think the emergence of technology and social media has influenced your art in any way?


Yes, it has. Social media exposed more truth about this world than television ever did and inspired a lot of the truth I paint about. Thanks to social media I saw great artists that inspired my works better than the legends I studied at school.


Stand up, 2018


IMPART, an intersection of the most diverse art and innovative technology in Africa highlights the growth of the African creative sector and places it in the global discourse.

In a bid to democratize and raise the value of African art, IMPART connects emerging and established artists directly with buyers and collectors from different parts of the globe. 

IMPART is an initiative of Lasmara Ltd.

Add a comment