Omosh Kindeh - Nairobi's Calm (Oil on Vinyl 79" x 118")
Thom Ogonga - Dialogue (Mixed Media on Canvas 60"x 48")
Last week Africa lost one of its brightest and most dedicated intellectuals, Ali Mazrui. Dr. Mazrui, a Kenyan Pan-African thinker, has contributed to the understanding of the dynamic forces at play in our beloved continent of Africa for the last four decades. He was named one of the top 100 most influential thinker in 2005 by Foreign Policy magazine. And in the 1980s he produced the award-winning documentary, Triple Heritage.
Mazrui wrote The Trial of Christopher Okigbo in 1971. Christopher Okigbo is a contemporary of Chinua Achebe and was a Nigerian poet, intellectual and Pan-Africanist. The book is centered around the violent death of Okigbo in the Biafra war - a secessionist movement by the Igbo people of the eastern provinces who wanted to create the state of Biafra. The Igbo were fighting the joint Hausa-Fulani of the north and Yoruba in south-west over economic rights to oil, coupled with cultural, religious and ethnic tensions.
In the book, Mazrui interrogates Okigbo posthumously and judges him for leaving the Pan-African cause (the vision of a united Africa) to fight in the Biafra, a nationalist war. Mazrui uses Okigbo to demonstrate how unity of not just Africa but our world can be derailed by religion, economic justice issues, ethnicity, pride, culture, race, nationalism & empire. Mazrui urges us to listen to both the living and the dead - the issue of world unity & peace is surmountable.
At AfroArt East Africa we pay homage to our fallen hero Ali Mazrui. We dedicate the works of two of our artists, Omosh Kindeh (Nairobi's Calm) and Thom Ogonga (Dialogue), to bid farewell to Ali Mazrui. Rest in Peace.