Distinguished Lectures

The distinguished lecture series was instituted in 2004 to immortalise Prof. Ben Enwonwu's unequaled contributions to the growth of art in Africa and the world. The first nine editions of the lecture held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) while the 10th held at The Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Lagos. The series offers an opportunity for national and international leaders, renowned academics, policy makers and the rich diversity of contemporary Nigerian society to share their understanding and perspectives on the role of art in causing desirable societal changes including the upholding of cultural identity and relations, human rights/social justice and economic empowerment for nation building.

Chronology of Lectures

10th Distinguished Lecture (November 15, 2014)

Titled - Art as an Alternative Investment

Delivered by: Mr Oscar Onyema OON, Chief Executive Officer,  Nigerian Stock Exchange

Chaired by: Chief Arthur Mbanefo CON, MFR, FCA


9th Distinguished Lecture (November 20, 2012)

Titled - Informal Art Education through Workshops: Gains and Challenges as Lessons from the Harmattan Workshop Series

Delivered by: Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya MFR

Chaired by: Chief (Mrs) Opral Benson MON, Iya Oge of Lagos

Guest of Honour: Dr Sam Amuka OON, Chairman, Vanguard Media Limited


8th Distinguished Lecture, (November 1, 2011)

Titled - Beyond Two-Dimensional Art

Delivered by: Prof. Jerry Buhari, former Dean, Faculty of Environmental Design,  Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

Chaired by: Apostle Hayford Alile, pioneer Director-General, Nigerian Stock Exchange

Guest of Honour: Mr Pär Lindegärde, Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria


7th Distinguished Lecture (November 24, 2010)

Titled -The Role of Art and Tourism in National Development

Delivered by:His Excellency, Mr. Donald Duke former Executive Governor, Cross River State

Chaired by: Prof. David Aradeon

Guest of Honour: Mr Gbenga Oyebode MFR, Chairman, Access Bank


6th Distinguished Lecture (November 18, 2009)

Titled - Enwonwu: The Responsibility of Privilege

Delivered by: Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State

Chaired by: HRH, Otunba Adekunle Ojora OFR, CON

Guest of Honour: Dr Sunny Kuku OFR, Olorogun Kuku I of Ijebu Land


5th Distinguished Lecture (November 26, 2008)

Titled - Positioning Arts and Culture for Sustainable Influence in Nigeria

Delivered by: Prof. Freida High, Department of Afro- American Studies, University of Wisconsin, United States

Chaired by: Chief Emeka Anyaoku GCVO, CON, CFR, former Commonwealth Secretary-General

Guest of Honour: His Excellency, Chief Ernest Shonekan GCFR, CBE, former Head of State of Nigeria


4th Distinguished Lecture (October 17, 2007)

Titled - Art as a Tool for Cross-Cultural Development

Delivered by: His Excellency, Dr Christopher Kolade CON, former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

Chaired by: His Excellency, Dr Alex Ekwueme GCON, former Vice President of Nigeria

Guests of Honour: His Excellency, Mr Arie Van der Wiel, The Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Allison Ayida CFR, former Head of the Nigerian Civil Service


3rd Distinguished Lecture (May 2, 2006)

Titled - Art, Tradition and Modernity

Delivered by: Prof. Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate

Chaired by: Chief Phillip Asiodu, CON, Izoma Onyaa of Asaba

Guests of Honour: Chief Tayo Akpata, Ima of Benin, Chief (Mrs) Opral Benson OON, MON, Iya Oge of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Executive Governor, Lagos State

Download Booklet - Ben Enwonwu Foundation, Wole Soyinka


2nd Distinguished Lecture (February 23, 2005)

Titled - A Position for Art: Locating Sculpture and its Many Contexts

Delivered by: Prof. John Aiken, Director,  Slade School of Art, University College, London

Chaired by: Omo-Oba Oladele Odimayo, Chairman, Ecobank

Guest of Honour: Chief Franklin Ogbuewu, Federal Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Chukwuemeka Chikelu, Federal Minister of Information and National Orientation

Download Booklet - Ben Enwonwu Foundation, John Aiken


1st Distinguished Lecture (February 25, 2004)

Titled - The Place of Creative Art in the History of Man

Delivered by: Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi OFR

Chaired by: Chief Arthur Mbanefo CON, MFR, FCA

Guest of Honour: His Excellency, General Yakubu Gowon GCFR, former Head of State of Nigeria

Download Booklet - Ben Enwonwu Foundation, Rasheed Gbadamosi