Amadioha Ozuzu pays homage to the sky deity, Amadioha, depicted by my father, Joseph, Sr. As the consort to Ala, Amadioha is represented by lightning and thunder, which he uses to deliver swift justice to those found guilty of crimes. While Ala governs the law, Amadioha delivers the justice.
Back in his day, my father was one of the most respected and talented soccer players in his community, developing the nickname Amadioha Ozuzu for his hot-headed nature on the field. So the story goes, as a 17-year old soldier in the Nigerian Biafra War, he was bullied by the older men in his unit. During one incident, one of his peers condescendingly threw my dad off a motorbike. Once the guy finally let him get on the seat, enemy fire broke out as they rode off, striking the driver clean in the head with a bullet, sending both men to the ground. From that day on, no one in his unit ever bothered my father again. Any time they went into a potential battle, other soldiers would huddle close to him skittishly, because they believed he had some powerful spirit protecting him.
Oil paint, glass and plastic beads, and fabric on canvas
16x20 in/ 40.64x50.8 cm