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King Leopold II Statue Removed by Belgian Authorities Amid Protests.

King Leopold II Statue Removed by Belgian Authorities Amid Protests


The statue of the colonialist, who murdered an estimated 10 million Congolese people during his rule, has been removed amid Black Lives Matter protests.

The BBC reports that Belgian authorities in Antwerp have removed the statue of King Leopold II from the city square, after it was reportedly vandalised amid the Black Lives Matter protests in the country. The statue has been removed with plans to restore it to its former condition, according to The Brussels Times. Often referred to as the "hidden holocaust", King Leopold II murdered an estimated 10 million Africans, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), during his colonial rule.

READ: African Writers Show Solidarity with Protesting Americans in Open Letter

Johan Vermant, spokesperson for Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever says that,"The statue has been vandalised and will be removed and temporarily housed in the sculpture collection of the Middelheim Museum, where it will be restored." Vermant goes on to add that, "Since the square where the statue stood will be redesigned in 2023, and there will be no room for it afterwards, it will probably remain part of the museum's collection."

Admittedly, the reparations owed to the DRC by Belgium, as is the case with many colonised African countries, are long overdue. Last year, the European country finally issued a formal apology to the DRC for kidnapping and deporting their mixed-race children, known as the métis, during the colonial era––an apology that only came after six decades.

The toppling of colonialist statues, on the other hand, is not a new phenomenon. Images and objects representing oppression have been the target of many uprisings and mass demonstrations. Back in 2015, South African students at the University of Cape Town toppled the statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes during what was collectively defined as the "Fallist Era".

The fight against systemic racism across the world continues. While racist police establishments are at the heart of the Black Lives Matter protests in America, and now several other countries, all racist establishments and the symbols that represent them are being thrust into the spotlight––they simply must fall.

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Photo: Spark Creative

Meet the Ghanaian-British Designer Behind Janet Jackson's Latest Cover Look

For her most recent cover shoot, Janet Jackson donned a headpiece co-created by Ghanaian-British designer Chrissa Amuah, who tells us more about how she finds inspiration in her parents' homeland.

After rocking a LaviebyCK design by Cameroon's Claude Kameni in her 2018 'Made for Now' music video, Janet Jackson has turned to another talented African creative for her latest look. On the February 2022 cover of Allure Magazine, in which Jackson talks about executive-producing her documentary, Janet, the multiple Grammy-winning artist is pictured wearing an Ògún headpiece, co-designed by Ghanaian-British textile and furniture designer, Chrissa Amuah.

"I’ve always been a fan and respected her craft and work ethic,” Amuah told OkayAfrica. “For Ms Jackson to wear the Ògún in promotion of her new documentary sends a powerful message of enduring brilliance, integrity, and walking in the strength of our true voices.”

Of Ghanaian, Togolese, and Beninese heritage, Amuah was born to Ghanaian parents in London and draws inspiration from the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol in her work as the founder and Creative Director of AMWA Designs, a luxury homeware and interiors brand established in 2014. Making her international debut at the Milan Design Week, she gained worldwide acclaim in 2015, and a few years later, was named “Consumer and Luxury Rising Star” at the 2017 Black British Business Awards.

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