The illustration honors the works and life of the foremost Nigeria potter, educator, ceramicist and glassworker.
Dr. Ladi Kwali was born in the village of Kwali in the Gwari region of Northern Nigeria, where pottery was an indigenous occupation among women.
She was first trained by her aunt to make pottery using the traditional method of cooling.
Her pots was collected by the Emir of Abuja (now Suleja), Alhaji Suleiman Barau for display in his palace. This caught the attention of Michael Cardew during his 1950 tour for his extensive report on pottery development for the Nigerian colonial government.
She later joined the Cardew Pottery Training Centre in Abuja as the first female potter.
Through her relationship with Cardew, her works earned her international exhibitions and prominence. Her works are held in collection all around the world, such as Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, USA, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Aberystwyth University Ceramics Gallery, UK
Ladi Kwali’s picture appears at the back of the Nigerian N20 Naira note. She is the only woman to appear on Nigerian currency and one of the only three African women to ever feature on banknotes
Ladi Kwali went on to receive the Member of the Order of the British Empire, MBE in 1963; the Silver Award for Excellence at the 10th International Exhibition for Ceramic Art at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC. in 1963: Honourary Doctorate Degree by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State in 1977.
In 1980, the Nigerian Government bestowed on her the insignia of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (NNOM), the highest national honour for academic achievement. She also received the national honour of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 1981.
Dr. Ladi Dosei Kwali died in Minna on 12th August, 1984 at the age of 59.
Ladi Kwali is widely regarded as a creative potter of international repute, a role model and source of inspiration for the womenfolk.