The Toyin Falola Interviews: A Conversation with Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Please join us for a conversation with Nigeria’s Foremost Art Collector, Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon.
Sunday, January 15, 2023
5:00 PM Nigeria
4:00 PM GMT
10:00 AM Austin CST
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Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon hails from Abeokuta, in Ogun State of Nigeria, from the Sogbulu and Ogunfayo lineage of the Laarun royal ruling house of Ake in Egbaland. He is a graduate of Engineering (University of Ibadan), of Law (University of Lagos) and an MBA degree (Obafemi Awolowo University). He is a Nigerian Chartered Stockbroker and Fellow of several chartered professional bodies.
Prince Shyllon served as a manager of Tractor and Equipment (a division of UACN PLC conglomerate Nigeria). In 1983, he was appointed executive director and for some years was also the legal adviser of Nigerite Ltd in Nigeria, a subsidiary of the ETEX Group of Belgium. He commenced investing in the stock market in his university undergraduate days and continued investing in real estate, shares, business startups and, of course, artworks.
His investment in art collection stemmed from his undergraduate days at the university. Prince Shyllon established his art foundation – Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF), in 2007. The OYASAF art collection is Nigeria’s largest private art collection, holding over 7,000 artworks of all genres as well as over 55,000 photographic images of Nigeria’s fast-disappearing cultural festivals. The OYASAF sponsors scholars, curators and artists from within and outside Nigeria to study his collection and research into Nigerian art and culture. In 2012, he endowed the Yemisi Shyllon Professorial Chair for Fine Art and Design at the University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria and the online journal of African art, “The OYASAF Journal of Art (TOJA)”. OYASAF has donated life-size sculptural monuments to the Freedom Park in Lagos, to the Universities of Lagos and Ibadan and to other public places and institutions in Nigeria.
Prince Shyllon is the joint author of a book on the Yoruba sculptor, Lamidi Fakeye. He granted 1,000 artworks to the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art at Pan Atlantic University, including the largest collection of Lamidi Fakeye’s pieces. His donations form the core of the museum’s collection.