The year has put on new clothes.
ThatDarkBetty and thatAfroSays, we bid you enjoy her fashions.
Art has long since provided us a means to appreciate, understand and interpret our surroundings and circumstances, a form of social commentary.
The tradition continues:
@afromysterics, @CavalierSlim, @xoAFRO
One painting, slightly different perceptions;
THE GIFT & CURSE
(Kindly allow the images to load, also preferably viewed on a PC)
Some of the key players in the matter; GEJ intentions unclear, wearing what seems to be a joker’s mask
IMF (can you see their logo?), a head seeming to come forth from the logo, whispering, appearing to give orders to Okonjo; who is listening. Eyes closed, appearing to be blind to the suffering of her people, her environment…
The child, representative of the people, crying in anguish because of the future he/they see(s)…bleak
Can you see the logos of two major oil companies?
NOI with the star where her heart should be, signifying her good intentions.
GEJ with the mask, putting on a strangely brave face in the presence of turmoil and chaos
The masses, crying and angry, bewildered by the actions of the government, unable to comprehend a seemingly futuristic action…ignorance, the bane of the ordinary man. (as seen by the sad face beside NOI and the dumb-looking man, holding up the placard, respectively)
A cacophony of violence and diverse interests, fighting for the soul of Nigeria, while its innate strength lies dormant and weakened (signified by the sad horse)
Crude- a source of joy and pain,a gift & curse since 1956
The Coat of ‘Alms’ (begging for attention)
He was a prophet in his own right. His music; the soundtrack of the current agitation.
(This section of the piece also expresses religious conflicts between Islam and Christianity, the murder carried out in the name of God…)
The timeless conflict that religion inevitably concocts, causing the death of so many and setting the nation on edge. An explosive situation, literally. All happening, with fela’s music remains the soundtrack in the quest for freedom and equity.
A bomb. 2015; the predicted expiration date of the entity called NGR, an eye; watching…
TUC, NLC, Save Nigeria, Enough is Enough, people protesting for a return to N65, fists representative of the Occupy Nigeria movement.
A phone,megaphones, guns, social networking sites and the war being waged on the internet…the people being given a voice of sorts, an avenue to vent/vocalize their thoughts…
The ‘I-better-pass-my-neighbor ‘ generator powering all this…’NEPA’
Twitter and facebook…the chief culprits through which propaganda is spread from every angle, setting a technology-savvy generation on fire, seeing only half-truths and shadows…they need light…figuratively and literally.
The piece in full
They go to church, they ask, “Give us a prophecy!”
They have stopped coming to visit me, their clothes are too clean for my mats and their noses are too urban, too stilted for the modest smell of nature.
Every year, they hear the same things over and over again:
This is your year of breakthrough! This is your year of renewed anointing!
How are they so blind that they cannot see the play of hands? How are they so carried away that they are not aware that the year listens to no man’s speculations?
The year listens to their actions, individually; the year listens to the consequence of these gathering drops in the ocean. The year is the resultant wave, riding on the combined ripples of their decisions, their activities, although some ripples are weightier than others.
Whether they come to consult me or not, the charcoal would talk about them. Spiritual Amebo.
Whether they seek the truth or not, in black gold it is evident. Spiritual Gbeborun.
The circles are distorted and the ripples dance before me, telling a story that is not altogether hidden from you if you cared to open your eyes.
Shey you want to know where it starts? Is it not in the center of it all? Look at that beast of burden, enjoying himself on a bed of flowers…
Him brother no see palmi drink but him no go give am. Palmwine sef dey, ‘Gorodom’ dey. Them talk say na oyel money, say na for all of us, why them dey laugh and we dey cry?
Fela, he talked about it all and his words ring true today, as true as they rang back then, in rhythm with the sound of the beads that shook on the jiggling waists of his dancers. Abami…
Archbishop na enjoyment, Pope na enjoyment, Imam na gbaladun… Our people too dey fear… Our leaders them be bad people… Suffering and smiling
Shey you see the next ripple? Look above the center, it is the consequence of the activities of the leaders that we elected, it is the consequence of our own choices…
My people dey suffer: Bomb dey blow, we leaders no hear! We dey cry, we leaders no hear! Oga president no see our face, na joke joke masquerade him use take cover face! Madam minister no see hear our cry, na oyinbo dey give am advice! Bomb dey blow! Man dey cry!
And the ripples after? Just above?
Suffer dey but we must talk! Enough is enough, We must to save Nigeria! Whether court talk say make we no cry, na as e pain us we go cry! Whether Labour talk say make we quiet small, na as e pain us, we go shout! Enough is Enough!
My people, the charcoal dust swirls, observe the whorls. The voice of the people is their armament. Look at the final ripples, the voice of the multitude, the cry of the people…
Bullhorn na we grenade launcher! All ojoro must die by fire! Thunder must to strike all the cabal them! No be our money? No be our oyel? Twitter soldier man, Facebook air marshall, Broadcaster-in-chief, General street protester, all of we come together. We no fit use all our salary enter molue go work; we no fit put all our sweat inside one twenty-five leetah jerry can, pour am for moto. NEPA no dey, PHCN talk say make we buy candle but Mama Bomboy talk say candle don cost. Our voice na we gun! Our shout na we shakabula!
Enough is Enough!
- Amebo/Gbeborun – Gossip/ Eavesdropper
- Palmi – Palm Wine
- Gorodum – Oil drums
- Oyel – Crude oil
- Gbaladun – Enjoyment
- Ojoro – Corruption
- Molue – Dilapidated mass transit bus
- Leetah – Litre
- Shakabula – Double barreled Pump action rifle.
The piece is titled Gift & Curse and done with charcoal on pastel by Laolu Senbanjo
Go to www.laolusenbanjo.com to see more of the artist’s work and follow the handle @afromysterics on twitter, also like laolu senbanjo on facebook.