NWORIE NWADIASO, ARTIST WITH UNCOMMON GIFTS

August 11th, 2019
BY NZE SAM NWANZE {08162566009, 08179912123)

His name is Nworie Nwadiaso. But he is popularly called ‘Nwadiaso” which translated means “Holy Man.” He is also called; Chief, Elder, Dr. and Prophet.
Professionally he is an artist of exceptional qualities, the kind that are not seen at many places at a period. Apart from being a visual artist, he is a musician, prophet of a kind, poet of the folklore genre and much more. And he is good at them all, evidence of divine hands. Curiously he didn’t receive any formal training in all of this.
In the field of visual art, he has done amazing works in different art departments like sculpture, wood carving, painting on canvas, drawing, landscaping among others. In musical art, he has five albums to his credit, two of which are backed by video rendition. Though he stays in his village but people from different parts of the country and beyond go there to see his works and consult him.
He says also that he is an herbal medicine man, “a gift revealed to me by the spirits when I slept in a thick forest for seven days.” In this regard according to him, “I give medicine for ailments like mental illness, infertility, migraine, stomach ulcer among others.” He said he was warned when those herbs were revealed to him not to use it as an instrument of enrichment but to help those afflicted with various diseases which may have defied treatment elsewhere. “That is why I am called doctor”, he said.
However, what moved this reporter to search for Nwadiaso after hearing much of him was his art works. As a lover of arts and one who has won awards in art reporting in the early 1990s with one of the popular national newspapers then, the urge to search for this amazing personality became palpable on a visit to Enugu recently.
So, on that Saturday morning July 13, 2019, this reporter, a driver and one other person, set out to look for the artist much spoken about. From Enugu, the capital city, we drove to his village home at Enuagu Amurri in Nkanu West Local Government Area of the state. It took us less than one hour to get to his house from Enugu.
He was aware of our coming through phone call and he was waiting to see us. His home consists of one-storey building which he said he designed by himself and three other smaller buildings one of which serves as his consultation house. His art works could be seen strategically positioned in the compound especially, wood carvings and sculpture works. There is one molded crocodile positioned on the entrance to his house. It looks fearful and real.
He was very happy to see us and he conducted us around the compound to see some of his amazing works consisting of paintings, sculpture, wood carving, among others. So many commissioned works finished and work in progress were on display. The massive compound is not fenced and to this he said the village is not threatened by anything or anybody.
Asked how he started, he cleared his voice and said that everything he does is a gift from God. “I started doing art work when I was a little child. At the age of six, I was molding with sand and by the time I was 12, I had started doing works in clay and cement. People were coming from different parts of this town and neighbouring communities to see my work. When I got to 16 while in secondary school, I was already doing wood carvings, paintings of different types, and commissioned works especially in sculpture,” he said.
At the age of 17 according to him, he did a crocodile molding with cement which the late Igwe of the town bought N1,000, then a big money. “That was the first job that gave me money and because it was placed at Igwe’s residence in Enugu city many people saw it and started looking for me,” he said.
Nwadiaso who is now in his late 50s, said he was never taught art work by anybody. “I never worked under anybody. When I went to one man at Enugu to see if there is anything different I could learn from him, I left after three weeks because he was only a wood carver, so my arts came from God.” he said.
On how he became a musician, hear him; “I became a musician through spiritual gift. I got my songs direct from the spirit while sleeping, or sitting down. I would be hearing songs and after a while I sang along and later wrote them down. I have five albums two are backed with videos.” He plays high-life, hip-hop, gospel and traditional music but regretted that marketers have been his greatest problem.
“Marketers have been my problem because they have not done much to market or publicise my works even though people acknowledge my kind of music as good. I hope one day I will get a sponsor. I looked for sponsors but got none. It is the money I made through artwork that I used to produce my music. Many marketers are not sincere”, he said pointing out that because he is based in the village he has not been adequately exposed.
On herbal medicine, he said it is from God. “One day at the age of 24, I wandered into a thick forest in my town and stayed there for seven days, my parents were looking for me everywhere. It was there that all kinds of herbs were revealed to me for different ailments. But it was not for enrichment but to help people”, he explained.
After 2 hours 16 seconds of interaction, we left his house satisfied that we met very exceptional human being. Indeed he is a man with different gifts from God. He said “Jesus appeared to me on three occasions even though I don’t belong to any Church.” This is another story that will be told later. I left with a gift of small carved antelope which looked beautiful.
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