Google has honoured Nigerian potter, Ladi Kwali, with a doodle on its home page.
Kwali is the first and only woman to appear on a naira note with her portrait on the N20 note.
Kwali was born in the village of Kwali in the Gwari region of Northern Nigeria, where pottery was an indigenous occupation among women.
She learnt to make pottery as a child from her aunt using the traditional method of coiling and later developed her own style which included fabricating everyday containers ornamented with animal iconography.
She was an educator, ceramicist, glassworker, and potter, who introduced the international community to the beauty of Nigerian art through intricately decorated earthenware designs.
Kwali’s works were showcased as masterful decorations in the homes of the wealthy and even palaces.
In 1950, Michael Cardew, founder of Abuja’s first potter training centre, discovered her talent after seeing her work at a royal palace.
Kwali became the first Nigerian woman to train in advanced pottery techniques, fusing her traditional style with innovative methods to craft a hybrid collection of pottery.
She achieved international acclaim in the 60s following exhibitions across Europe and the Americas.
Kwali later became a university lecturer and received a doctorate from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1977.
In 1963 she was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire. In honour of her contributions to academia, she received the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award in 1980 and was also awarded the national honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger in 1981.