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Misguided Ambition

Life is a journey of self-discovery and actualization.

To fully embark on this journey, one needs to have certain things taken care of; to have reached a certain level of comfort and stability in terms of wants and needs.

The painting is the artist’s perspective on the current situation in Nigeria; how various elements and conditions are preventing its inhabitants from becoming their best selves.

The lion portrays a typical Nigerian. The artist feels Nigerians possess similar characteristics in terms of courage, mental strength, and hunger. Hunger, as a matter of desire and determination.

The mountain-like composition the lion is climbing is meant to represent the elements that consume most of a Nigerian’s energy and time.

The meat is pretty obvious as a representation of food.

The next structure conveys two things; firstly housing/shelter and secondly a home/family (with the heart symbol). The third erection identifies good health, security, and safety, things which the artist feels are the most difficult to attain in Nigeria.

When an indwelling Nigerian has managed to have most of these elements under control, what usually happens is instead of pursuing self-actualization, he/she focuses the remaining attention and energy on the accumulation of wealth in terms of money, properties, and so on. They are unable to pursue self-actualization either because they aren’t aware of it or simply because the environment does not encourage it in the matter of poor infrastructure and deficient facilities. This situation is worse for citizens who have earlier or for some time, lived in a more conducive & developed environment.

The chair signifies the accumulation of wealth while remaining in one’s comfort zone.

The elevator depicts the journey to discovering one’s self and maximizing one’s full potential; the path of self-actualization which the lion fails to identify because the light bulb (infrastructure and facilities) is damaged. Instead, it has its eyes firmly set on the comfy-looking chair even before it has finished climbing the mountain!

The Befibrillator

Adeboye Oluwajuyitan. M.D., MSC Cardiology. Author | Artist | Health Coach. I play the piano in my spare time.