Championing diversity: Daniel Obasi speaks about the motivation behind his work “The Illegal project”

Daniel Obasi was chosen by A Nasty Boy as one of the up-and-coming talents shaping the creative worlds of today and tomorrow, as part of its collaboration with creative network The Dots.


Following the critical acclaim of his project “The Illegal Project“, It works met up with Daniel Obasi and had a conversation the artist’s work and motivation.

I wasn’t so keen on reality,” Daniel said. “I was always more about magic, the fantasy, the half-humans; things that push outside of the surface-wall.”


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Like ‘The Illegal Project’ that focused on homosexuality in Nigeria.

I thought how best to create this in a way that it’s not offensive, but also not hiding the truth. Simultaneously it had to be beautiful, mysterious and magical, to make it my own thing. Oh, and very African! That was important to me as well.”

I needed something that would make a lasting impression. Something that would make people talk. And that’s when I did that hairdo for the guy.”


Daniel Obasi Illegal Project
Daniel Obasi Illegal Project


Daniel hadn’t expected such a positive response to The Illegal Project. It became clear that many people in Nigeria were looking for recognition and found it in his series.

“I was reaching out abroad, especially to Nigerians who are now living outside the country.

I wanted to remind them – look this is what’s happening here, in Nigeria. This is my way of telling it to you. So you need to look back, and find a way you can help the people. As activists, as writers, as whatever you can do. Try to reach back home to see what you can do to help.”


More about the interview can be found on It Works website. Fint out more about Daniel Obasi’s work  The Dot.


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