Here’s a clue to how old I am and where I grew up; when I was 6, I was exposed to art as much as carvings and funny billboard concepts.
Art in any form it appears is a means of communicating with the spirit and soul. The alchemists, the beautiful spirits who have the power not to merely imagine but to splash colors, connect shades to brew an amazing image which tickles our senses and to a larger extent provoke our thoughts and take us on a gentle tour into their worlds and perspectives, are real gems- Rare spirits!
One of such is Nana Afia Sarpong Prempeh, popularly called Afia Prempeh. A self-motivator. From the age of 16, her collection has ranged from images of nature, music, spiritual understanding, beauty, life, hope, mood and self-love and encouragements. In a nutshell, a deeper understanding accompanies her work.
As a female in this art, she has had her fair share of shunning sprouting from stereotypes and gender straightjackets but her works still stand as proof of her amazing talent and capabilities. She’s motivated by the environment around her, the beauty of it. This, she says, presents her an urge to create her own world, anything to call her own.
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it, while they are making the decision, make even more art”. This statement goes for any other endeavor we individually may be engaged in, be it to express our talents or to bless the lives of others in other interestingly creative means. Do not wish! No one ever grows by take imaginary trips of how successful they COULD be. Step out and shine.
One of her pieces that stands out to me is one painting of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first prime minister and freedom fighter. In this piece, the hero is seen without his head and left arm. This was created at the exhibition dubbed “if you love me….” on the Loco Shed Kumasi Railway. When asked about this work by Live fm’s Antoine Mensah on the popular mid-morning show, the Lifestyle Cafe, Afia explained that most of he events taking place in the country and even our state of mind as Ghanaians and our actions often prove that we have failed to acknowledge the values Osagyefo fought for. This is not far from the truth. In our lives, the head of Dr Nkrumah which represents his ideas and beliefs and the silo of the values he unfailing fought and stood by is completely missed.
His left arm which depicts his works, the activities he engaged in and his valor in pushing the nation to her feet even after attaining independence on the 6th of March 1957, is cut off because we as his ever growing posterity fail to fill our minds and guard our works by stepping in his footprints a foot after the other. In one way or the other, we have gradually pushed his legacy into obscurity.
Rising as a generation with undoubtedly extreme opportunities and strength, we barely have any more options but to be the best versions of ourselves. We need to mature to face reality. The reality is that art is a science. A science that not only gives us solutions but guides us to reach deeper into ourselves to discover our weaknesses and change for the best. Let’s embrace it!
Compiled By Esi Otoo.