‘Africanize’ Art Mirroring Purpose 

On purpose with purpose 

It matters not where WE reside, so long as we know that we came outside for a purpose.  It matters not where SOMETHING resides, so long as it remembers itself in due time; Its true-self, plus it’s renewed sense. self garnished with new smoke, a different type of pollution. 

The art looted by villains, the act itself must not be suppressed within ourselves. When we see it, subconsciously we should force feed it freedom so the ‘arts consciousness knows no hunger of where it is from. But like a child, it can be identified and loved. 

My father and many other parents of the diaspora fear burying themselves in a country where their art and children are, especially when all are removed for one reason or another, from their country of origin.  It’s proposed that we diaspora children still follow and die with the art. 

Context is just land and content articulated in a foreign accent, but there are museum systems known as accession that catalogue our content like it’s their creature cousin, displaced and separated by a different family experience. To catalogue something you have had to learn about but you don’t know of from familiarity, is a task of faith. It is dangerous. It is blind. And it is hopeful so long as you categorise with soul. Allowing yourself to be spirited away and not weighed down by systems. But I believe this to be impossible: to honour the art before honouring the institution. Big buildings are always cold when they overshadow and why wouldn’t they reject diaspora enlightenment until they understand the profit of it.


‘This cloth has been made from narrow-loom woven cotton strips, roughly 4cms wide, and includes alternating warp threads in indigo and white. This ‘riga’, or man’s gown, has been embroidered in white cotton chain-stitch. The front is a symmetrical arrangement of ‘dagi’ or ‘knot’ motifs, with parallel rows of stitching around the neck and two false pockets. The back is a single ‘dagi’ motif. The lining band inside the hem is in cerise and white narrow loom cotton (10 cm strips) cut on the cross (depth 18 cm). It was collected in N. Cameroons before 1928 although the gown itself is Hausa. ‘

My father and mother – parents of the diaspora – fear the prophets we listen to now; we  as diaspora children follow new religions in new lands and this isn’t a cause to be sad but it’s regrettable to forget the land that cast dye onto canvases.

Three songs listened to whilst writing this: 

  • Conductor Williams – Positive Vibes Matter Beat Tape 
  • Ghetts – Purpose 
  • Kanye West – Def Jam Poetry (Cookin Soul Remix) 
Written by Sipho Eric Ndlovu
Skip to content