The Person You Will Be In The Future Is Based On Everything You Do Today.

An Interview With The Lady That Painted Emmanuella; Other Celebs -Mary Ogochukwu

Mary Ogochukwu Nwele with Johnkingsblog in an interview
An interview with the genius female painter Mary Ogochukwu Nwele who's outstanding works of art from another dimension of the planet upset the stability of the internet last week and the week before.

First it was too real to be real. I traveled to Awka during the weekend to visit my cousin student doctor at Amaku and eventually I saw her... by mistake! I was on an evening stroll with my brother when he pointed at her shop and said, "Know that lady painter trending online for her paintings? That's her shop".

Immediately I sighted Emmanuella's potrait infront of her shop, I knew I wasn't hallucinating because I already wanted to deceive myself with that. You know that feeling of the unexpected right? Like when you see Rihanna in your village market? Wake up dude! You're already dreaming.

I postponed my stay, came up with some interview questions with the help of my cousin for her and prayed she'll give me a listening ear. In hours, we were done.

Mary Ogochukwu Nwele with Johnkingsblog in an interview

The next day, a few minutes after 3pm, we entered her shop and met her busy painting the Knight in red that I'll share his pictures. We let her know our purpose for the visit and she said "Yea, cool!".

I had subdivided the whole questions into 5 sections.

1. Abstract questions
2. Role Specific Questions
3. Situational and Operational Questions
4. Behavioral Questions
5. The Video!


Q. Are you aware that you have been an online trend for almost 2 weeks now?
A. Sure, i'm aware of that.

Q. I read that you posted the pictures of your work on your Instagram page.
A. Yes, I posted it on my Instagram page.

Q. Where else did you post the pictures?
A. On Facebook, those are the two places I posted my works; Instagram and Facebook.

Q. Did you ask any blogger to post it on his blog?
A. I don't think I have ever asked anyone to post my work online, though people tell me that they will post my work on Instagram and Facebook.

John-King: I read that the pictures were culled from your Instagram page. I saw it on many websites. Some bloggers even posted it yesterday.
Mary: Even up till now!

Q. Are you a Nairalander?
A. Yes, but I registered recently.

Q. Someone commented on Nairaland that he would not believe until he sees a video of you actually doing a work. Did you come across that?
A. Yes, I saw it.

Mary Ogochukwu Nwele infront of her painting of a Knight

Q. What did you think?
A. Mmm, of course many people doubt I'm the one that do all these because I'm a lady. So, some of them are anxious to know whether this girl can actually do this. Some are even waiting for me to post a video of me painting, which I will do later.

Q. Is your painting ability a developed talent or an acquired skill?
A. I acquired many skills in painting. It's also a talent; God's gift. God created us in his own image and likeness, making him the first ever artist. Artists are born and artists are made. You're an artists too (referring to me), or don't you believe it?
Me: I will believe it because it sounds convincing.

Q. At what age did you discover your talent?
A. 8 years. Then I was either in Jss2 or Jss1.

Q. Can you remember any of your first drawings that made you start thinking "Maybe it's my call?"
A. We do assignments then that involved drawing and I may be the best out of the rest. At a time, when I look at things, my spirit will ask me if I knew I can draw that? Initially, I overlooked those inner words. One day, I was holding 2face's album CD pack and I heard those words again. I said "of course, I can do it". Immediately, I picked up my pen and made a sketch of his face which looked like him instantly. I showed my mom and she didn’t believe; everyone in the house doubted me. I now told my dad that I would draw him and after I drew him, they all believed. My later drawings were the Big Brother Africa housemates, likely 2008. I got their pictures from the Newspaper. I sold everything! I later drew P.square from their album CD pack too.

Q. Was it your dream as a little girl to become an entrepreneur in artistry?
A. Initially, I didn't think of that. When I was in secondary school, my classmates would say that I'm wasting my talent in school. They said they wouldn't be in school if they were me, they'd just stay at home, draw and make their money. I never thought of studying art in the university. I couldn't do without drawing at home or school. Drawing became a passion. I wanted to study law but then I thought of how I would be drawing in a law lecture hall. People, my family discouraged me though but I encouraged myself. Some of them said, "why not tryout another course since you know how to draw already so that you have two things altogether"

Q. Did you collect money from your classmates in any level of your education to draw for them?
A. Of course, like I told you, I sold almost all my small drawings. I can remember I charged a girl N500 for a drawing.

Q. How much was the least?
A. N500. For small pictures, prices were between N300 and N400.

Q. What would you do if you were not a painter?
A. If I were not a painter, I would be a graphic artist.

Q. Do you have any degrees in art?
A. My first degree.

Mary Ogochukwu Nwele drawing of Phyno Fino

Q. Which institution?
A. Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (UNIZIK).


Q. For how long have you been working as a painter?
A. When I entered the university, I didn't know how to paint, I could just draw with pencil but didn't know the rules guiding pencils.

John-King: There are rules?
Mary: Yes, when you work with pencils, there are rules you must observe. I didn't know all that before, all I knew was picking up my pencil and drawing. When I entered the university, I found out that there are many things I needed to know in art. Art is not just drawing, art has gone beyond mere drawing. So I studied all the branches of art; Graphics, Textile, Ceramics, Sculpture. In 300level, we had to choose an area of expertise. To me then, it was a challenge because I loved graphics and I love painting too. Textile was also in my mind but painting moved me more because I didn't know painting and colors. So I chose painting.

A lady with a bare back. Mary Ogochukwu Nwele's drawing

Q. Is there anyone you coach in painting?
A. I was one of the best in my department. We shared our knowledge then.

Q. Who has been of great support to you all this while?
A. My family, my mom was there for me. It has been God all the way.

John-King: You said earlier that they advised you against art.
Mary: (Laughs) Yes, but I later convinced them that it's what I love and want to study and they supported me.

Q. In what ways have your mom been of support to you?
A. Financially and many other ways.

Q. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A. Yes, I am from a family of five. I am the third child and the second daughter of my parents.


Q. Imagine you're halfway through a job and your client changes his mind about the color, how would you handle this?
A. The only thing I need to do is to convince my client that if I do anything different from what I am already doing, that the work wouldn't be as superb.

Q. Typically, how many coats of paint do you prefer applying to any job for perfection?
A. There are many colors in the human face for example. I mix different tones for different colors of people; from the light tones to the dark tones. I don't remove anything when I'm working on the face. If I see black, I apply black because once I don't do that, the work is done! So I try as much as possible to mix all the colors that I need.

Mary Ogochukwu Nwele painting of a man with a drum and dancing

Q. Do you prefer edging with a tape of without?
A. Sometimes I use free hand, sometimes I grid. But it's easier to grid and faster also.


Q. Do you have any imaginary paintings?
A. Of course, I have many imaginary works.

Q. What did you paint?
A. I enjoy painting an imaginary village scene. I am very good at that when it comes to imaginative drawing no matter the setting, be it at night or day. Another is seascape painting.

Q. Which painting so far would you say is your best?
A. I have been working with pencils all this while.

John-King: So, which drawing is your best?
Mary: I don't think there is any drawing that I regret selling. I do so many beautiful works.

Mary Ogochukwu Nwele drawing of Rihanna

Q. What is your most challenging painting or drawing?
A. My most challenging work is drawing little children because if you don't study them very well, it'll be a very difficult task. I will have to study the anatomy of children before I can make an imaginative drawing of them. In a normal child, the length of the head is either one-fifth or one-sixth of the whole body and you have to measure it right before you draw one. I see every painting as a challenge. I have not started painting anything I did not finish, the only thing I do is face the challenge.

Q. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with someone about a project?
A. It was a very terrible one. I drew a woman and her child with the picture she gave me. The picture was dirty when I finished working with it so I cleaned it after which I kept it outside to dry.

When I went to collect the picture, I couldn't find it. When I gave the woman her drawing, she asked for the original picture. I was open with her and told her that I lost it.

She disgraced me in the market place. She later took me to a prophetess who had told her that a woman took her picture to do 'something'. At that place, the prophetess performed some prayer chanting and said that the person who collected the picture should bring it back unless...(she didn't say). The prophetess didn't tell my client it was me but kept saying that "there is a woman".

I had to tell my mom when the when my client threatened to call the police. My mom said that since my client doesn't want to believe me, that she's free to do anything that pleases her.

My client stopped acting up when someone that knew me very well told her that I cannot do that kind of a thing. Since then, I have been more careful with the pictures I work with.


Many people are astonished. Some said that they wouldn't believe it until they see a video of you painting or drawing. Can you make a quick sketch of something for me while I video you?

...come back tomorrow. The video will be posted tomorrow after editing. Also find out ways to can connect with Mary Ogochukwu Nwele to get your dreams in paintings and some of her imaginary paintings too.

NB: Bloggers, Newspapers can cull words from this post on Mary Ogochukwu's interview so far they give due credit to this blog.


  1. Bia, is that not my sister Mary that we use to go to church 2geda?!

    1. Ok! They're famzing now. She's my cousin shaa

  2. Wow! This girl is out of this world.Amazing


DISCLAIMER: Comments are of the opinions of the person who commented; John-King hand no dey.