Lemi did not have any formal training, but chose to sustain his ingenuity, following Fela’s advice : ‘He had advised me against compromising my pristine initiatives through institutional training’ . Lemi talks about first learning European drawing techniques and then adding the African touch, but as Fela told him, you could learn the basics yourself from a book, but when it comes to creating, the start should be fresh and non-impoverished by the past. Fela himself was trained to play classics, but the musician ended up playing original Afro.
‘Fela told us that education will stick on us a post-colonial mentality which will blind us from seeing the social reality in Africa‘.
So much for education’s power to free minds. Lemi proudly declares:
‘I am a student of the University of Life’.
As for inspiring the upcoming generations, Lemi promises he will continue to give free training to all the apprentices who come his way.