It is often said that the dead have a special way of looking after their loved ones. Thus, it wouldn’t be out of place to say late Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili still oversees the affairs of her offspring even while she has gone beyond. When Carnegie Corporation of New York, one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations, released its 2020 Social Toolkit Democracy Programme —always published on every July 4 since 2006— the name of Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, seasoned virtual artist daughter of the well-respected late Professor Akunyili was listed as one of its 2020 Great Immigrants honourees.
Njideka was celebrated and named alongside 37 others from different countries for their exemplary contributions as immigrants to American life. The Carnegie Corporation honours the 38 naturalized citizens for enriching and strengthening America and its democracy through their contributions and actions. At a period when Nigerians’ integrity are being eroded by spurious acts of very few, Njideka seemed to be changing the tides by topping the charts with exceptional behaviour in the international community. Interestingly, she clinched the first position on the orderly arranged list tagged “Great Immigrants/Great Americans 2020”.
Njideka is a Nigerian-born United States-based visual artist of repute who has earned more resounding accolades for her style of paintings. Her works are phenomenal and have graced many international journals, museums, exhibitions, billboards on many tube stations, streets, to mention but few. This has earned her fortunes, accolades and honours in many countries. Like her late mother, Njideka —the fourth of six children of late Nigeria’s anti-counterfeit drugs czar— has scooped many honours and recognitions. She is a recipient of awards, grants and prizes by reputable establishments who appreciated her art collections and contributions. In 2017, Njideka was invited to Nigeria by Art X to discuss Artworks to inspire budding artists during its large annual fair held in Lagos. The Afro-American artist last year was awarded an honorary PhD by Swarthmore University for all her wonderful contributions to the art world. Just recently, Forbes named her as one of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.