Hodonu’s “Just Coconut” turns Waste to Art

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Yinka Olatunbosun

The painter, sculptor and teacher, Nathaniel Hodonu with a knack for making artworks from waste material embarked on another art project last week when he trained 20 people on making crafts out of coconut shells.

Following in the footsteps of renowned artists Professor El Anatsui and Raqib Bashorun, Hodonu taught participants how to use coconut shells for making cups, key holders, bangles, pendants, pen holders, soap dishes and curtain holders amongst others.

The one-week training with the theme, ‘Just Kokonut’ held at the conference room of Ojo Local Government, Ojo, Lagos was sponsored by Chair of the Council, Rosulu Olushola Idowu drawing upon participants from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Hodonu disclosed that the main objectives for the training include educating participants on the utility of coconut shells; reducing unemployment and environmental pollution.

“We made participants know that coconut shells are also very useful and that it’s not just eating the inside that matters. The bi-product can create more wealth than coconut flesh,” he said.

The artist, who commended Idowu’s support said he would take the training to all local councils in Lagos. Some of the participants also expressed their delight at being part of the training.

Born and raised in Badagry, Lagos, Hodonu started experimenting with coconut shells as his medium for sculpture in 2006. He later combined it with caps of plastic bottles for paintings.

Works made with coconut shells featured prominently in his third solo exhibition, Menu Weh’ held at the National Museum, Onikan in 2017.