American artist, architect, author, director, and composer of musical theatre Ibiyinka Alao was born on October 17, 1975 to Ezekiel Bamisaiye and Grace Bosede Alao welcomed Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao. He is listed by Global Citizen as one of the “5 Artists Who Have Spread Messages of Peace Around the World,” along with John Lennon, singer Alicia Keys, and two other musicians.
Alao studied at the Nigerian Navy Secondary School (NNSS) in Lagos’ Navy Town. He studied architecture at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife and earned an A-Levels diploma in physics from the Kwara State Polytechnic. After earning his degree, he joined the State Ministry of Works and Housing Development where he worked as a civil engineer and architect.
Alao is from Ponyan in the Kogi State region of Iyagba East Local Government.
Awards and Recognitions
The President and Commander in Chief of The Armed Forces designated him Nigeria’s “Ambassador of Art” in 2005.
Alao took the first place at the 61-country International Art Competition sponsored by the UN.
The grand prize of the 2016–2017 Scholastic “Kids are Authors” competition was awarded on May 18, 2016, and it went to Alao’s Fireflies, a children’s book based on one of his paintings called “Eternity in our Hearts.”
Students from Willow Lane Elementary School in Macungie, Pennsylvania, as well as Al Khair School in London presented him with His Fireflies. It took first place out of more than 900 entries from American schools.