IT TAKES A VILLAGE
32" x 40"
acrylic on canvas
32" x 40"
acrylic on canvas
In some African societies “It takes a village…” would translate in some proverbs like in Lunyoro (Banyoro) where it says 'Omwana takulila nju emoi,' whose literal translation is 'A child does not grow up only in a single home.' In Kihaya (Bahaya) there is a saying, 'Omwana taba womoi,' which translates as 'A child belongs not to one parent or home.' In Kijita (Wajita) there is a proverb which says 'Omwana ni wa bhone,' meaning regardless of a child's biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to the community. In Kiswahili the proverb 'Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu' approximates to the same."
- source Wikipedia
Sitting on the floor facing an old mirror I still have to hang on the bathroom wall, I found myself one night talking to my own reflection.
“I’ve always been having a problem with the title of this thing. It’s like I am re-doing a Hillary Clinton all over again,” I was telling my alter ego as I was wrapping it up in bubble wrap that night I took it down my wall to finally set it aside for the show on January. “It’s scary. It’ll be the first time that this work will be seen by others. When I say “others” I mean people I actually don’t know what their last names are or those who’ve never been to my apartment.”
“You know what? I think it’s just right. I mean, so what if it’s like you took it from some First Lady’s book title? She took it too from some African proverb you know. You’ve checked Wikipedia and there it was. Have you ever thought that when you did it, it is actually about people building and taking care of something that will, well, grow?” my self replied to me from the mirror.
After a pregnant pause, I find myself agreeing with me, “Well, you have a point there. I did it because what I am doing right now is basically building up a small thing with other people in a “community” of shared beliefs and eventually when “it” grows, well, we just hope that it’ll benefit other communities as well.”
“There you go. Now you’re agreeing with me,” my alter ego in the mirror said as I finished putting on the final tape on the wrap.
When that was done I stood up, took the wrapped painting and slid it behind the dinner table. It will be staying there until the time Delan and his crew will take it to the gallery for the exhibit.
I then walked the short distance to my kitchen to heat a kettle of water. I deftly took a mug from the cupboard, took a teaspoon of sugar and some coffee then I took a seat while I waited for the water to boil. It was fairly still outside my window. I could only hear a tricycle’s puttering engine pass by followed by the meowing of another horny cat on the roof. The usual traffic of jeeps and cars couldn’t be heard now. It is evening and it’s late.
When the kettle whistled, I closed the gas. I poured the hot water into my mug and stirred the coffee and sugar. I took a careful sip of my hot black caffeine in a mug and with it walked towards the front of the mirror.
“I’m afraid. I hope people will be nice when they see my works on January,” I told my alter ego.
And he replied, “It’ll be okay. Either you’ll make it as an artist or you’ll end up never being able to afford the coffee you’re drinking right now.”