RAUF THOMPSON: AN ARTIST WITH UNDYING SPIRIT.

Recently, renown artists, art lovers, art collectors, some members of Society of Nigerian Artists (SNA), arts collectors, cream -de - cream of the society and the general public were pulled up to the National Art Theatre Iganmu Lagos for a four-day period art exhibition of Alhaji Rauf Thompson.
This is not the first time Rauf organised an art exhibition. He is known in the world as an entrance into the world of arts. For instance, while in America between 1984 and 1987, he held an arts exhibition in Houston Texas in 1985 even as a student. Between 1979 and 1993, he had painted the world red with arts exhibitions both in America and in Nigerian.
For instance, in 1979, under the auspices of the Society of Nigerian Artists, his group held an arts exhibition in Goethe Institute, Lagos. Another one came alive at the same venue by the same group two years later. Exhibition has made him synymous with Goethe Instute Lagos.
Alhaji Rauf Thompson, as a veteran artist has left an indelible mark in the sand of painting and drawing. His works are spread across the country.
Chairman of the occasion on opening day was Sen.(Dr.) Musiliu Obanikoro. In his opening speech, the firebrand politician observed that Rauf's execution, "Is always straight to the point except in some areas where he intends to go abstract. They are day to day activities. It requires a third eye to capture the scene. His colours are very bright and appealing to the observers".
Senator Obanikoro described art as a store of values, adding that art works appreciate but regretted that value of things depreciates in Nigeria. He later advised the audience to buy and keep art works for they would definitely appreciate and by then those who had them would auction them far higher than the cost price. They would become richer. He picked about five art worlks of Rauf Thompson.
In the flow, Mr. Jemi-Alade, a guru in tourism and hospitality industry, and MD/CEO of Jemi-Alade Tours picked his own choice. In the same vein, Yomi Tokosi, the Chief Executive of Riggs Ventures West Africa PLC, Lagos, bought the ones that appealed to him. Others made similar moves.
The exhibition theme was : Art, Beyond Drawing and Painting - an Exhibition of Paintings. Despite being sole exhibitor, Rauf surprised everybody including himself by exhibiting over fifty works that were of ancient and modern in content.
Who taught you determines a lot who you will be. Socrates taught Aristotle. Jesus taught Peter, Matthew, etc. Alhaji Rauf Thompson was taught by such masters in art profession such as Prof. Yusuf Grillo, Prof. Shereeff Adetoro, Mr. James Nkobi, Mr. Isiaka Osunde, Mr. Kolade Oshinowo, to mention but a few. He himself therefore is not a push over but a celebrated artist, painter, teacher and advertising guru.
Born in November 17, 1945, in Ekotedo area of Ibadan, Oyo State to a civil servant father Alh. Laminah Bello-Thompson and Alhaja Sidikatu Ejide Thompson who was a trader. His father was the Secretary of Isale Eko Lagos Descendants Union.
Rauf attended Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School Okepopo, Lagos, Salvation Army School, Ekotedo Ibadan, Methodist Primary School Agodi Ibadan, Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School Alakoro Lagos Island and Ansar -Ud-Deen Primary Obele Oniwala, Surulere Lagos. He sat for his West African School Certificate (WASC) in Ansar-Ud-Deen College, Isolo Lagos in 1968.
A pioneer Art student of Yaba College of Technology (1968-74 set), Rauf began life as an Art teacher at Awori Ajoromi Grammar School, Lagboju Amumo under  Lagos State Ministry of Education. He was promoted to senior tutor as an education officer. Later he moved into advertising world and became visualizer as well as studio group head in the Mass Media Ltd firm in Lagos.
He flew out to America in 1984 and became a student of University of  Houston. There, he met big time artists and worked as an artist in Red-Lobter.
On coming back to Nigeria in 1987, he worked with Hawkson Advertising Ltd, Asda Advertising Ltd as studio group head. In 1985, he joined the Ibru Organization and Guy Series was born. He was the senior visualizer and studio group head.
Rauf Thompson is currently a consultant to Ikeja Hotel Plc owners of Lagos Sheraton Hotel and Abuja Sheraton Hotel. He is married to Alhaja Mudirakatu Afolake Thompson and they are blessed with three children and many grandchildren.
Among the corporate bodies that supported him in the exhibition were Society of Nigerian Artists Lagos, Laura, Jemi-Alade Tours, Kareem Kola & Sons, Williams, Bikat Communication Concept, African Oil & Gas Report, Sure Diagnostic Health Services, Riggs, The NationGuardnews.com, and Katobak Cards and Gifts.