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Twins Seven-Seven

(1944 - 2011) Twins Seven-Seven, named Taiwo Olaniyi Oyewale-Toyeje Osuntoki by birth, was born in 1944 in Ijara, Nigeria. He was a member of a royal lineage of the Yoruba people, which granted him the right to be called a Prince. During his fantastic dancing journey, he named himself Ibeji Meje-Meje, meaning Twins Seven-Seven, for being the only survivor of seven consecutive sets of twins. He was one of the original artists of the famed Osogbo School, which arose in the newly independent Nigeria in the early 1960s. His popularity and status as an African art star were well-known during the 1970s. It was in the 1990s that his works appeared in major international exhibitions, and his life climaxed with the award of high chieftaincy titles in Nigeria. 1996 marked the year he received a host of titles, including the Ekerin-Basorun, the Atunlo of Ibadan, and the Obatolu of Ogidi. Prince Twins Seven-Seven was a multidimensional artist whose talents encompass singing, guitar playing, acting, writing, and poetry. Several exhibitions of his works throughout the world include those at the National Museum of Modern Art – Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Houston Contemporary Arts Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, and the National Modern Art Gallery in Lagos, among others. In 2005, he bagged the title of UNESCO Artist for Peace, a position that gave him international visibility and secured his name and recognition through a difficult phase of life. He passed in Ibadan on June 16, 2011.