When you think you’ve seen it all, and that you know all that the raffia fibre from the palm tree can be used for, brilliant minds like 40 year old Ojo Obaniyi show up and prove you wrong. As if to say, “You haven’t seen nothing yet.”
Ojo Obaniyi is a weaver based in the ancient city of Ibadan, and like any other weaver that makes use of the raffia fibre, he’s made baskets, chairs, huge flower vases, and other household essentials. But in a light-bulb moment, he looked at his Volkswagen pick-up truck and thought to customise it in his own special edition of ‘Pimp my ride’ – Xzibit, in all his years, has not seen anything like it.
Indeed, Art has no boundary, neither is innovation limited to teenagers and young adults; at 40, Obaniyi created the world’s first handwoven car. And unlike this Ankara wrapped vehicle, Obaniyi did not just wrap the exterior of his vehicle with raffia fibre; every part of the car got a makeover – the seats, the steering wheel,the dashboard, the tyre wheels, basically everything.
Obaniyi’s Volkswagen is more than just a vehicle now; it is a beautiful piece of art, and an innovation that has caught the admiration of many around the world. Just like his name, ‘Obaniyi’, which means ‘a king is honourable or valuable’ in Yoruba, Ojo Obaniyi’s ingenuity has brought him great respect, and his skill, is indeed valuable. “I wanted to prove a point that it is not only the educated elite that can make positive changes in society,” Obaniyi said. Point, proven.
For more insight, click to listen to the podcast below