I was fortunate to host the 2nd edition of my Art, Jollof & Champagne showcase series on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 in Toronto.
It was another sold out event that had over 150 guests in attendance.
Art, Jollof & Champagne is a travel photography and food exhibition hosted by myself and Chef David to showcase certain countries we've been to and to narrate our experiences through photographs and food.

For me, this is my biggest project each year, and myself and my friends put in tremendous amount of work to make each edition better

Artist Statement
Golden Sands – Tolu Akanni
It’s still so shocking how this journey had started.
My artist journey, or even my journey to Morocco.
Wait, am I really an artist?
I’ve tried several times to connect the dots, but none of it makes sense.
On February 2018, I had traveled to Morocco in the company of four other friends. I wanted to experience life in Casablanca, Marrakech, and maybe Chefchaouen.
The Sahara Desert was never a part of our travel itinerary leaving Toronto.
But circumstances led us to embark on a 30-hour journey one-way to nothingness.
A few interesting detours on the road, but the destination itself was nothingness.
Camels, stray cats, sand, and camps. Nothingness.
How do you justify leaving civilization to camp on a desert ground?
We went with the flow.
Fast forward to March.
 “Hey, have this pic if you need a wallpaper.”
Times People saw this picture on Twitter.
18,500,000+ retweets.
None of it makes sense, but it is what it is.
Today, I am attempting to show you the beauty I saw in the Sahara Desert. It’s a different kind of beauty. I really don’t know what to compare it to, but maybe you will help me make sense of it.
I have themed this collection “Golden sands,” because of these annoying particles of sand that clog everything. But when you travel to the desert, there is this surreal beauty. They have somehow become a pot of gold.
This collection has opened me to new opportunities, new friendships, and new clientele. In some way, it has also opened me up to your time at this gallery today.

I hope this collection inspires you to travel to Morocco sometime. I hope this gathering connects you to people you could travel with. I hope this Jollof enlightens you on the greatness of Nigeria. I hope the champagne gives you an extra kick to be happy and merry. More importantly, I hope this event inspires you to seek and create something you’re passionate about.
“Art, Jollof & Champagne” started as a text message that I sent to two friends. I was lucky they both responded with enthusiasm. That enthusiasm from them, and from many other people I eventually shared those words with has kindled the fire of this idea.
I am humbled and blessed to be around amazing people that selflessly offer to help me, and make huge sacrifices to invest in my dreams.
We made it to the second edition of this event, and we know this is just the beginning.
It is my great pleasure to present the beauty of Morocco to you.
Welcome to the Sahara edition of Art, Jollof & Champagne!!!
Golden Sands was the Photography Collection I produced in large canvas prints. Then I had a collection of Post Cards in small card prints which consisted of street photographs. I asked guests to caption each one of these post cards based on their interpretation of the narrative and it was quite an engaging exercise.
There was a talk-back session hosted by award winning fashion photographer, Osato Erobor, and the audience got a chance to ask myself and Chef David about our work and the food/photos we showcased.
As usual, Chef David stunned the audience with the food showcase where he dished out Jollof with a Moroccan Tagine inspired sauce.
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