It was a happy accident that led Dolly Kola-Balogun to enter the art world. Born in the UK but raised in Nigeria, Kola-Balogun studied political science and sociology at universities in Boston and London. She comes from a family of prominent lawyers, so art was not on her radar at first. “While I was at Kings College [University of London], I attended 1-54 Contemporary African art fair,” she tells The Art Newspaper. “I would go and be enamoured by the amazing artists on display and it dispelled any notions that I had had about what African art was and what it can be.” But she was disappointed to see that most of the artists were not represented by galleries in Africa. “There was a vacuum that needed to be filled,” she says. It was then that Kola-Balogun decided to start her gallery Retro Africa in the city of Abuja.

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