Dele jegede: Post-peregrination and The Longstanding Fight for a 'Dream Deferred'
By: Ugochukwu-Smooth C Nzewi


dele jegede's new works offer a way of grappling with some of the major issues that have been troubling Nigeria in recent years. Since the late 1970s he has interrogated the Nigerian project with deep insight and sincerity of purpose. His 1986 exhibition Paradise Battered, at

the dystopian height of the 1980s, addressed the miasma of perdition that had enveloped the country. With a few other artists who actively engaged the national space in the 1980s

such as Obiora Udechukwu, Olu Oguibe, and members of the defunct AKA Circle of Artist, jegede cast a critical light on a country that held so much promise at the time of its

independence in 1960 but seemed to have lost its bearing. From the impoverishing Structural Adjustment Program, which effectively erased the middle-class, the rigmarole of a

political transition program by the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida presidency, students' protests imported neoliberal agendas, institutional corruption, to state-sponsored

assassinations, jegede tackled the unfolding challenges with stark clarity. His melancholic…..

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Dream Deferred is the title of a book-length poem by the Harlem Renaissance poet and writer Langston

Hughes. The full title of the 1951 publication is Montage of a Dream Deferred.

Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, “The Individual and Community: Aesthetics of Blackness in the works of three Black British Artists,” Critical Interventions, No. 12 (Fall 2013):20-36.


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