Utagba Uno dancing girls

While in the employment of Utagba Uno Rubber Estate, Mid West State of Nigeria in 1970 a group of young children from the neighbouring village Ekiribi, under supervision of a number of woman danced in front of the Manager’s house to mark Christmas.

The Manager encouraged the dancing and music making by donating instruments to a band of musicians employed on the plantation and donating food and drinks to the regular performances in the community hall. So I imagined this to be a kind of ‘thank you’. Some of the really young children almost knew how to dance before they could even walk. The children put their heart and soul into their performance.

I always wanted to make a painting of this scene, so some thirty years later when I took up painting with oils it was the first subject which came to mind. I used a small segment of one of the black and white photos I made at the time and the colours I remembered. The painting is oil on canvas board 40 x 50 cm.