January 4, 2020
Frans Thoka’s new artwork: Those Who Come From The Sky
Narrative: ‘Those Who Come From The Sky’ portrays a young female figure. The figure is deep in thought and avoiding eye contact with the viewer, creating a limited interaction between the portrait and the viewer, and emotional conflict within the viewer as well. Around the figure, is a circular shape with small spiral shapes, which represent Ogolwago. Ogolowago represents a coiled snake in Igbo culture in Nigeria. In some African traditions, snakes are associated with power. Therefore, the spirals in the portrait represent the power around the figure. However, this power is hidden in the subconscious of the figure. And the only way to possess it is to have a spiritual connection with those who come from the sky; Badimo, Amakhosi or Mababu in Swahili. The spiritual connection is not just spiritual but educational because it allows the living to learn about those who come from the sky. For instance, their accomplishments. Back to the portrait and current world, most women stay in toxic relationships because they are unemployment and their hope lies in men. Imagine if they learned about the Prophetess Kimpa Vita of Kongo who opposed slavery laws in the 1700s. She fought for her people from slavery until she got executed on the 2nd of July 1706. Imagine if our women realize the power they have… However, violence is not a solution.
As men, we have allowed society to mold us into monsters, especially in Black communities- maybe prison makes us worse that we have forgotten the worth of our women. Of course, patriarchy was here before us but the current one is a roaming beast feeding on our souls. It is time to water the past of those who come from the sky- represented by the flowers in the portrait. Men should stop attaching value to their women and begin to appreciate the worth of their women and children.
In conclusion, pearl earrings are shinny but should not outshine the woman wearing them; a pearl is affordable.