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Nigerian Artist Creates Eco-friendly Portraits Using Flip-flops

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A 30-year-old Nigerian artist named Eugene Komboye uses disposed plastic flip-flop sandals for making coloured portraits in an attempt to clean the environment in a country suffering from high plastic pollution.

Komboye’s first piece of art was a college assignment in 2017, and since then art has become his full-time job. His studio is in the city of Abeokuta in the southwest state of Ogun, where he trains young artists wanting to follow his art and make flip-flop portraits.

Flip-flops are the footwear of choice for many Nigerians.

As per the government figures, Nigeria produces around 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, with some plastic waste found in the oceans and rivers.

Komboye finds his materials from dump sites, landfills and riverbanks. He cleans and disinfects his material in his studio, after which he cuts them up and reuses the discarded materials by turning them into a face. Sometimes people come to his studio with photographs for the artist to create personalized portraits.

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