N’gan’ga Ndeveni Painting Given to President Obama
US President Obama visited Kenya last July to attend a Global Entrepreneurship Conference in Nairobi and possibly visit Kogelo village, the home of his late father. The city was spruced up and street boys gathered up and swept away as usual when a dignitary comes to town.
But what this post is about is the wonderful gift given to President Obama from the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta – an original painting by N’gan’ga Ndeveni, of a group of elephants at a watering hole. Unfortunately, I do not have an image of this painting or the presidential exchange. However, the reason I know this is I was given a call by the ‘Official Art Appraiser of the President’, based “in a vault”, across from the White House in Washington, DC. The reason for the call, of course, was to have the Ndeveni painting appraised.Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Members of the US government are required by law to hand-over any gifts received by anyone for appraisal. If the gift is appraised for less than $300, it can be kept by the recipient. However, if the gift is appraised for $300 or more, it has to be turned over to the official archives (meaning, lost forever).
Well once I heard that interesting information it was easy for me to appraise the painting sight unseen – $299, of course! It’s nice to know that because of this appraisal an original painting by N’gan’ga Ndeveni will be in the hands of Barak Obama and family instead of rolled up in a tube and lost forever in a warehouse somewhere.
Since the inception of this website I have done many original African painting appraisals. I always do the research as well as use my experience and eye for art. However, in this case, since the painting was not actually going to be sold, I thought I was doing the President a favor. Yea, he owes me. What do you think?