Arts + Culture

Fred Martins’ New Series Honors the Struggles of African Liberation

Nigerian visual artist Fred Martins' new series for Black History Month celebrates past African heroes who stood against colonialism.

In the spirit of Black History Month, Nigerian visual artist Fred Martins shares a new series commemorating the African struggles for freedom.


With Black and Freedom, Martins celebrates the “African heroes that stood against colonialism in Africa, although massacred in thousands and in millions, but they had tried to protect their lands, culture and people.”

Using butterfly imagery was intentional for Martins—they symbolize life or the soul in many African culture, he tells Design Indaba. The fists stand for power, bravery and unity.

“It all defines the suffering inflicted and the strength exhibited by the African ancestors who were ardent and concerned about protecting the future of Africa,” he continues for Design Indaba, “and the message they tried to communicate to the present and future Africa.”

He continues:

“A great number of Africans today have no real idea of what their past looked like. The culture, values and the great men and women that devoted their lives lighting a path for the people of today are unrecognized. The story of our ancestors resisting colonization should not be neglected, their bravery and mistakes should be revisited and taught in our schools so people know about the challenges that brought us to our knees and how they can be fixed. History is essential.”

This series honoring past heroes is another opportunity for Martins to teach through his work.

“Visual work is deep, powerful and controls the subliminal framework of the people. I hope that these works stir a hunger to know more,” he says.

To read more from his interview with Design Indaba, click here. Have a look at Black and Freedom below.

[oka-gallery]

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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