By Taiye Olayemi
Prof. Gbenga Fasiku, Director, Institute of Cultural Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on Friday called on African leaders to work unanimously to promote peaceful co-existence within the continent.
Fasiku made the call during the commemoration of the Black History Month organised by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC).
He said this was to strengthen African identity and promote the African spirit of excellence, most especially in the area of Arts.
The programme, held virtually and physically, had its theme as “The Contributions of Africans to the Arts”.
He said that in view of the success stories always recorded in African arts, music, literature, fashion and all, Africans must remain united to sustain, maintain and improve on the successes.
“In the face of seemingly continuous regime of recolonisation, Can African arts ever be allowed to perform its functions? One of which is to drive genuine African emancipation, redefine African true consciousness, develop and lead Africa into her rightful position as a world power.
“This is clarion call to African leaders to unite and strengthen the Africa identity, which will hydrate the African spirit of excellence in all facet of life.
“At the Grammy Awards this year, Nigerian singer Tems came fringed in ostrich feathers and at the Cannes Film Festival, a young French-Senegalese director, Ramata-Toulaye Sy was a breakout star.
“African fashion had its own shows in Paris and Milan. In Venice, Africa is the focus of this year’s Architectural Biennale.
“Last year, an architect from Burkina Faso won the prestigious Pritzker Prize. In 2021, Tanzania-born Abdulrazak Gurnah won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
“Also numerous of our artistes have continued to make serious impact, we must work on ensuring peaceful co-existence in order to create more succes stories,” he said.
According to Fasiku, the contributions of Africans to arts were observed to be driven by the African souls, which represent the cultural consciousness that define the identity of Africans.
He said it was instructive to note that African arts play dual roles as it served as a source of aesthetic pleasure to the artists and as expressions of the artists’ inner being, that represents the African’s shared identity.
“Therefore, African sculptures are distinctively or peculiarly African, because they represent the soul of Africa,” he added.
Haven identified the numerous contributions coming from the Africanists, Fasiku noted that it was correct to assert that Africa had reshaped and still reshaping the narrative of art history over the last 50 years.
He said Africans’ contributions to the growth of arts had brought about novel, interdisciplinary, Africa-centered approaches which had all changed the face of global arts. (NAN) (nannews.ng)