The journey is all about the people you meet along the way – continued….

As per my last blog about the people we pass every day – this is the story of J.H. Local painter – Abuja Nigeria.

I met J. H. (actually his name is James Henry but prefers his initials) one afternoon in the Central Business District. He was sitting in the sunshine and as is usual here the people have a friendly hello and always ask how your day was going – ‘You’re Welcome’.  The building he sat in front caught my eye for it was brightly painted with a grass roof (yes even here in the city).  He took my hand and escorted my inside.  I was taken aback by the paintings that lined the walls.  They were of people, cityscapes, country scenes from here in Abuja, Lagos or the small villages that still exist in great number through the States of Nigeria.  There were many I fell in love with…. especially the ones that had faces of people.  I asked him about his painting.  This is his story –

J.H. taught himself how to paint more than 15 years ago. His instruments are either brushes or the use of sponges or rags to give him the texture he wants in the picture and his canvas is the people and places in Nigeria.  I asked about how he decides what to paint and he said it all depends but he always wants to capture happiness because the world is already full of some much heartache.  He also wants to remind people of the places where they came from and to remind them of their eventual return journey home.


JH with ‘Blessings’

I asked about the building and if he also painted the outside walls and what those pictures meant. He said each one is a story of people and places close to him.  The village he grew up in to remind him of where he came from, the uncle who rode a bike to market, the village ladies with baskets of peanuts (ground nuts) that they carried to the larger towns to sell on the streets…if you had seen my post on the Pulse Yammer group; provided here again – J.H. always leaves the window to his shop open….and he told me – you need to throw open the window to that what is outside the confines of 4 walls and you are bound to see beauty all around you…..


What did I learn?  Take a step back from the everyday and you are bound to see beauty beyond what we can imagine and be happy for that what you have….as the boy in the painting is aptly named: joyful for rain

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Get out and experience your corner of the world today!



  1. Thanks, Robert! Needed that reminder today as I start the week, summer comes to an end, and the change in season is ahead of us! Thank you for sharing your journey with us….can’t wait for your next update. Stay safe and enjoy!!!

  2. The paintings on the outside of his building are so cool – urban art! So Robert – how many of these paintings have you purchased already? I would be interested to see any of his paintings of the city – city through his eyes. Hope the audits are going well? Sue

    1. I haven’t bought one yet…and the audits are going well. Interesting to say the least 😉 thanks for the messages!

      1. Robert – do yourself a favour and go get one of those beautiful pictures that will remind you of this special time in our life when you get back home. I am living my art urgency through you! LOL

  3. Wow those paintings are amazing. J.H. is truly talented. How have you resisted buying some? I would not have been so strong. Robert, I love how you’re doing this series on people you meet along the way. It’s just wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  4. Great blog. And great art, both inside and outside the building! Not sure how you resisted to buy some. I bought so much local art and handicraft!

  5. Oh the Wisdom you are gaining on this adventure….Enjoy! Thanks for sharing your experience via this blog. Inspiring 🙂

  6. The paintings are beautiful…his human subjects are so expressive! Your stories remind me of ‘Humans of New York’. Keep telling their stories, Robert!!

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