The Woman Behind Twenty Naira
Ladi Kwali was a Nigerian potter, born in the village of Kwali in the Gwari region of Northern Nigeria. She was an exceptional and excellent potter who made beautiful potteries.
She lived all her life practicing pottery craft in Kwali village of Northern Nigeria, where she caught the attention of a white man who loved her work and helped her showcase her art around the world.
She was later invited to the United Kingdom, despite her informal education, to teach her art to students as an external lecturer/tutor.
Kwali was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 1962 and an honorary doctoral degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1977.
In 1980, the Nigerian Government invested on her with 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.
Ladi Kwali died on August 12, 1984. She was 59. Her picture appears at the back of the 20 Naira note.