The Nigeria Imaginary Cover Art Contest

Cover designs by Diana Ejaita. 


The Nigeria Imaginary Cover Art Contest

The next issue of The Republic will spotlight 'Nigeria Imaginary', Nigeria's showcase at the 2024 Venice Biennale. In partnership with the Museum of West African Art, enter our contest to design the cover and win N1million!

Cover designs by Diana Ejaita.


The Nigeria Imaginary Cover Art Contest

The next issue of The Republic will spotlight 'Nigeria Imaginary', Nigeria's showcase at the 2024 Venice Biennale. In partnership with the Museum of West African Art, enter our contest to design the cover and win N1million!

We’re organizing this contest in collaboration with the Museum of West African Art.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to design a Republic cover? Now’s your chance to find out! Ahead of Nigeria’s showcase at the 2024 Venice Biennale, The Republic is co-producing a special magazine issue in collaboration with the Museum of West African Art (MOWAA). As part of our partnership, we’re organizing a design contest to find The Republic’s next cover artist.

Nigeria’s pavilion at the 2024 Venice Biennale will mark the second time Nigeria has ever participated in the global art event. Titled ‘Nigeria Imaginary’, the exhibition will feature Nigerian and Nigeria-diasporic artists such as Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Ndidi Dike, Onyeka Igwe, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Abraham Oghobase, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Fatimah Tuggar, and Precious Okoyomon. This exhibition is curated by Aindrea Emelife (Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, MOWAA) and has been commissioned by the governor of Nigeria’s Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, on behalf of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Culture and Information and will be organized by the forthcoming Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) in Edo State.

According to Emelife:

Nigeria Imaginary will explore the many Nigerias that live in our minds, curated to capture a sense of optimism imbued in inherited and collective cultural history. Articulated through different perspectives and constructed ideas, mediums and disciplines, nostalgias for Nigeria and visions of the Nigeria that is yet to be, Nigeria Imaginary is a restless investigation of the legacies of the colonial past in today’s post-independence nation and a defiant imagining of a hopeful, youth-driven future.

The Republic’s next issue will spotlight Nigeria’s showcase at the Venice Biennale and our cover will be the winning entry from this contest. This contest is open to emerging and experienced artists (illustrators, painters, draughtsmen etc.) who are Nigerian and 18 or older. The artist will use their drawing, painting and/or illustration skills to produce a cover that can represent this significant moment in Nigerian art history. The winning entry will show evidence of having studied previous Republic covers as well as a distinct and authoritative artistic voice. 

The prize: N1million. 
Deadline: 23:59 WAT 05 April 2024

We expect to receive a high number of entries. As such, we encourage you to pay close attention to our brief, our guidelines and our official rules, as these will be instrumental in selecting the winning entry. For any questions, please email us at [email protected].

To our next cover artist, from all of us at The Republic and MOWAA, we’re so excited to meet you and work with you. Good luck!

the brief

We’re looking for a cover that can represent Nigeria’s showcase in Venice as an important milestone for Nigerian art. This cover, while referencing the Venice Biennale, should avoid being too ‘on the nose’ and focus, instead, on being metaphorical i.e. sending a message.  Successful Republic covers often draw references from a range of sources including books, music, cities, Nigerian life and popular art works. Our covers are bold, witty and striking. They serve as a window into Nigerian life, with the aim of being treasured for years to come and of being relied on as records of the ideas, trends, people and/or stories shaping Nigeria. So read up on MOWAA, the Venice Biennale, the Nigerian pavilion and the featured artists, and most importantly, be original. Producing a Republic cover is exercise in showing how the visual image can go beyond text in representing where and who we are now.

While we accept a wide range of media formats, we will not accept covers designed with any form of AI assistance. As this issue celebrates visual art, we will be on the look out for those entries that creatively, uniquely and ambitiously build on/make reference to the rich legacy of Nigerian art. The most important thing is to make a convincing argument with your designs. Below we’ve included past covers that may provide some inspiration.

the rules

Eligibility: The Competition is open to Nigerian artists who are at least 18 years old and are located anywhere in the world. Employees and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside or those living in the same households, whether or not related) of The Republic and MOWAA (“Sponsors”), and their respective parent organizations, affiliates, and subsidiaries are not eligible to enter the competition.

Competition Period: The Competition will begin at 8 a.m. West African Time (“WAT”) on March 21, 2024, and ends at 11:59 p.m. WAT on April 05, 2024 (the “Competition Period”).

Submission Guidelines: Each entrant may submit only one illustration. Illustrations must be original works created by the entrant. Submissions must be in line with the following requirements:

Dimensions: A4 with provisions for bleed
Image Quality: 250-300ppi
File Format: PNG or JPG/JPEG (The Winner will be contacted for an editable file format upon selection)
File Size: Maximum of 60MB
Naming Format: LastName_FirstName_TheRepublic_Cover2024

Entries must adhere to the theme provided by the Sponsors for the specific issue.

Winner Selection: One (1) winner (“Winner”) shall be selected from eligible entries by the Sponsors. Entries will be judged based on creativity, originality, adherence to the theme, and suitability for use by the Sponsors. The decision of the Sponsors shall be final and binding in all respects.

Prizes: The Sponsors will award a cash prize of N1,000,000 (One Million Naira) to the Winner. The prize will be paid within a month of the notification date after any necessary amendments that the Sponsors may require of the Winner. However, this prize will only be awarded if the illustration is published by the Sponsors. The prize is non-assignable and non-transferable. No substitution is allowed by the Winner. The Winner shall be solely responsible for reporting and payment of any taxes on prizes. The Winner may be required to exhibit an Illustrator Agreement, which must be returned as directed by the Sponsor. Failure to sign and return the Illustrator Agreement or to comply with any term or condition of these Terms of Participation may result in the Winner’s disqualification, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize, and the award of the prize to a substitute Winner.

Notification of Winner and Acceptance: Winners will be notified on or about April 5, 2024, via email. The Sponsor will contact the Winner during normal business hours. Failure to reach the Winner within a reasonable period may result in disqualification, and an alternative Winner may be selected from among all remaining eligible entries. The Winner will be required to work with the editors of the Sponsor to make the illustration fit for publication. At the request of the Sponsor, the Winner will be required to make revisions, additions, and/or edits to the illustration. Acceptance of the prize constitutes the Winner’s consent to the publication of his or her name, biographical information, and likeness in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, including, without limitation the Internet.

Participation: By participating in the Competition, entrants agree to be bound by these Terms of Participation and the decisions of the Sponsor. The Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entrant that violates the submission guidelines, contains offensive or inappropriate content, or is deemed ineligible for any reason or otherwise abusing any aspect of this Competition as solely determined by the Sponsor. In the event the Competition is compromised by non-authorized human intervention, tampering, or other causes beyond the reasonable control of the Sponsor that corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness, or proper operation of the Competition, the Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify, or terminate the Competition. Should the Competition be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, the Sponsor reserves the right to award prizes based on the entries received before and/or after the termination date, or in such manner as deemed fair and appropriate by the Sponsor.

Indemnification: By entering the Competition (and, if applicable, by receipt of the prize), each entrant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsors and each of their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and each of their respective officers, directors, members, employees, and agents (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against any damages, claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, copyright infringement, arising out of participation in the Competition or, for the Winner, receipt or use or misuse of the prize.

Copyright: By entering the Competition, each entrant grants to the Sponsor a non-exclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable right and license to publish, print, edit, or otherwise use the entrant’s submitted entry, in whole or in part, for any purpose and in any manner or media (including, without limitation, the internet) throughout the world in perpetuity, and to license others to do so, all without limitation or further compensation. Each entrant further agrees that if his or her entry is selected by the Sponsor as the winning entry, he or she will sign any additional license or release that the Sponsor may require.

Governing Law: These Terms of Participation shall be governed by and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Any dispute, controversy, or other claim arising out of these rules shall be resolved in a court of competent jurisdiction within Nigeria.

Construction: The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, such rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein and the intent of the severed provision shall be interpreted to the fullest extent possible to achieve the purpose of this Terms of Participation

submit your entrY

Cover Art Contest Submission Form

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