OLATUNJI PRIZE FOR ARTS & Culture-2017
The Nigerian American Multi-Service Association (NAMSA) of Massachusetts has established an award to honor the late Babatunde Olatunji, legendary African Drummer, Educator, Social Activist, Recording Artist, and Cultural Ambassador. The award honors the remarkable contributions of Dr. Olatunji in promoting African Arts and Culture and will be known as the "Olatunji Prize for African Arts and Culture".
The award will be bestowed annually on artists whose works exemplify the best of African, Afro-Caribbean and African American Arts and Culture. The inaugural ceremony took place at the Snowden Auditorium, University of Massachusetts Boston, on August 26, 2017 and it was a wonderful event.
The winner of the award is Iyeoka Okoawo, a Nigerian-American poet, recording artist, singer, activist, educator and TEDGlobal Fellow! "Iyeoka means I want to be respected in her native Esan language and the artist is the true embodiment of her name. By channeling her culture and ancestral influences, she delivers an authentic and inspiring message of healing through her expression in the art." (Iyeoka.com)
We are extremely pleased and excited that Ms. Okoawo is the first recipient of this distinguished award honoring Baba and wish her a long, meaningful and prosperous career.