One name that may be considered synonymous with African art promotions in Nigeria is that of Tokini Peterside, Founder and CEO of ART X Lagos.
As the sixth edition of ART X Lagos exhibition holds this weekend at The Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nairametrics Founders Profile spotlights Tokini Peterside.
Tokini Peterside was born in Lagos Nigeria and did some of her early education in Nigeria before going to the United Kingdom where she studied at Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Westminster School. She bagged a First Class honours degree in Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2006. Later on, she would attend the INSEAD business school for a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
Tokini ran a column on NEXT Newspapers between December 2008 and August 2010. Titled ‘The Chopaholic.’ This column featured a weekly restaurant review, making her Nigeria’s first independent restaurant critic. She also contributed to the newspaper’s fashion magazine – Élan. She created and managed Fashion Auction House, a periodic trunk show for luxury fashion, for almost two years.
As a young graduate, Tokini started properly with a career in marketing in the luxury brand space. She joined the LVMH group in Nigeria and became Head of Marketing at Moët Hennessy, co-managing an in-country team of 14 staff, to market a portfolio that included brands such as Dom Pérignon, Krug, Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Ruinart champagnes, Hennessy Cognac and Belvedere Vodka.
The team tripled sales volumes for the company within three years, and received the brand’s first nomination by an African team at the ‘Moet Hennessy Global Innovation Awards’ in 2011.
In 2012, she founded TP-Collective, a strategy consultancy cutting across culture and luxury. On this platform, she was the strategy consultant and project developer, and was providing strategy, business planning and marketing consulting to luxury and culture businesses in Nigeria.
She worked with clients like ALARA, the David Adjaye-designed luxury concept store conceived by Reni Folawiyo; and even the Executive Producers of Half of a Yellow Sun, the film based on Chimamanda Adichie’s novel with the same title. She also worked with Maki Oh, an award-winning fashion designer label. Her works with her various clients earned her the “Corporate Professional of the Year” 2011 at the Future Awards Africa.
Founding ART X Lagos
In 2016, Tokini restructured and created one of West Africa’s first international art fair – ART X Lagos. ART X Lagos has successfully exposed over 40,000 visitors to Africa’s and the Diaspora’s leading artists, and is now “a reflection of Nigeria’s potential on the global scene” according to the Financial Times.
There are also additional platforms like the ART X Live! – a dynamic showcase and launchpad for rising musicians and artists. The brand is also behind the ART X Prize, an award for emerging visual artists in Nigeria. ART X Collective also has an advisory arm which has supported pioneering entrepreneurs and brands across the culture, design and luxury sectors, over the years.
In 2018, French President, Emmanuel Macron was on an official visit to Lagos, and was taken through a contemporary Nigerian art exhibition curated by ART X Collective, at the New Afrika Shrine as part of the ‘Celebration of African Culture’.
In 2020, ART X Lagos was disrupted by the violent response to the #EndSARS protests, and ART X Lagos later opted to mark the protests with an online exhibition in December featuring works by over 100 artists, filmmakers, protestors and photographers.
Awards and recognitions
Besides being busy with ART X Lagos, Peterside serves on the boards of Anap Jets, Yinka Shonibare’s G.A.S. Foundation, Maki Oh, as well as the Advisory Board of the Lagos Fashion Awards. Her works have made it into the Financial Times, CNN, the New York Times, Le Monde and Vogue, among others.
Tokini Peterside, in 2020, made the Apollo magazine’s 40 Under 40 list, and in 2018, she made the list of the continent’s Top 30 pioneers – the Quartz Africa Innovators 2018. She was on Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business list in 2019.
In 2017, she was named to the MIPAD 100, a list of the Most Influential People of African Descent under the age of 40, an initiative in support of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent. In 2017, she was named Her Network Woman of the Year in the Arts Category.