Ladi Kwali

Ladi Kwali.

Ladi Kwali (1925- 1984) was a Nigerian skillful potter that will forever remain a symbol of pottery in Nigeria and West Africa. She was born in the village of Kwali in the Gwari region of Northern Nigeria, where pottery was a widely practised occupation among the women. She learned to make pottery since she was a child using the traditional method of coiling. Her favourite method of pottery was the traditional African method, in which her works were baked in a bonfire. Her pots were credited for their beautiful look and decoration, and most of them were acquired by the Emir of Abuja.
She made a lot of beautiful works which include pots from clay, large pots used as water jars, small decorative clay bowls so on.
Michael Cardew, an English studio potter who worked in West Africa for twenty years, saw Ladi Kwali’s works and asked her to join her training center in 1950 and which she later joined in 1954.Ladi Kwali Her works became known in Britain, Europe and America through her contact with Michael Cardew. She became Nigeria’s best- known potter, and was awarded a doctorate and was later given MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1963. The Abuja pottery was renamed the Ladi Kwali pottery and a major street in Abuja is called Ladi Kwali.
She appeared at the back of the Nigerian’s twenty naira currency note.

Nigerian currency

Read her full biography here


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