Slide Information list on Elephant in the room series

Elephant in the room, comprises of 17 paintings measuring 191cm x 110.2 cm, 121cm x 89cm, 80cm x 60cm, 69.5cm x 60cm and 50cm x 40cm respectively.  Medium is acrylic on canvas and in some case mixed media with newspaper and cloth and a type of net weaved from bark threads and sticks from wooden chicken cages which is used to sell free-range chickens at the market. This work is inspired by news headlines or different scandalous topics affecting the now political realm in Zambia and some other African countries. . In resurfacing these themes treated almost a taboo into Zambian memory, I see it as a possibility of recreating a collective dialogue passively while building new platforms in which they can be deconstructed.  By dismantling wooden chicken cages engaging with ideas of recycling, then reusing the same materials to weave the net that hangs over the work to metaphorically connect the politics nuanced in the 17 paintings. With this illustrative process, I am interested in raising questions on what can people do with or use nature and conserve it, how do we recycle nature so that we can repair the damage in our environment?

  1. The Africa we want: Size - 191cm x 110.2cm. Year - 2020.

This piece was inspired from watching the session which was discussing 1. How can we nurture visionary African leadership address any leadership deficit and engender trust in policies and dose Africa need effective institutions more than it needs strong leadership? It was a High level Event II – Leadership for the Africa we want - Meeting of Africa Development Bank in Kigali, Wednesday 22 May, 2014. Panelists: H.E Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, H.E  Deputy President of Kenya Dr. William Samoei Arao Ruto and Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini –Zuma, Chairperson, African Union Commission, H. E Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, former President , Republic of South Africa, Hon, Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) report for 2014 identifies two critical leadership problems globally- the first is that there is a leadership deficit, and the second is that there is a lack of trust in policies and programmes pursued by leaders. Good leadership will be crucial for enabling Africa to exploit the window of opportunity that has opened up in the past decade, notably its natural resource boom.

2. One Zambia, One nation: size-121cm x 110.2 cm. Year -2021

This painting was inspired by the death and reactions of the passing of Kenneth David Kaunda also known as KK, who served as the first president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991.

3. Coronavirus:  Size- 80cm x 60 cm. Year – 2020.

Not sure what to or who to listen to any more. When covid 19 was first reported, I started reading and researching so that I could create artworks to help disseminate information. There was a lot of information being shared on all social media platforms. I spent time watching daily updates on our national broadcaster ZNBC. I also got more information from most of my WhatsApp contacts including World Health Organization. Information would change many times and it would affect my already completed work. At some point, I developed mild anxiety from all that was going on. I wasn’t sure what to or who to listen to anymore. After completing this particular painting, there were so many changes regarding covid 19 which was earlier told to us from the WHO and other sources which were conflicting such that I decided to paint over it to get peace and personal healing.

4. Goat, Papaya and quail tested positive for coronavirus in Tanzania: Year - 2020

This piece was inspired from news headlines which reported that in Tanzania, Corona virus testing kits found goat, papaya and quail covid 19 positive and the late president John Magufuli dismissed the test kits as faulty. The head of the county`s national laboratory in charge of coronavirus test was suspended a day later.

5. Stop Electoral Violence. Size – 80cm x 60cm. Year 2021

The beating of Sean Tembo by unknown people in Lusaka which happened in 2019, during a peaceful protest against the 42 million dollars fire tenders that government procured lead me to do this work. Mr Tembo Opposition PeP leader has on several times accused Government of procuring the wrongly. He sustained a deep cut and police commissioner Nelson Phiri said he had advised Mr Tembo that the police had no man power to provide him security.

6. Use your vote to say no to “Electoral Violence.” Size - 69.5cm x 60cm. Year- 2021. As incidents of violence perpetrated by political party cadres against other parties increased, this painting was done as awareness to call for peace and unity

7. Forest No. 27. Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

Inspired when President Lungu signed SI N0 62 of 2017 degazetting the forest number 27 when he knows very well that it was the only forest remaining in Lusaka and is a recharge for Chalimbana and Chongwe rivers. Why?

8. Yellow card campaign: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

On the 21st of July, 2019, hundreds of Zambian raise Yellow Card against PF`s misrule outside Parliament grounds. It was dubbed the “Yellow Card” protest. The citizens were drawn from all walks of life said the Yellow card was meant to serve as a warning to the PF government over the alleged mismanagement of the country.

9. Red card campaign: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

Over a thousand citizens turned up at parliament Grounds on Friday 26th July, 2019 to launch the “One Zambia, One Nation – the Zambia we love Campaign” that emphasizes an evidenced-based fight against corruption and encourage Zambians to be patriotism and national unity in order to fight bitterness, hate speech, and tribalism.

10. Pamela Gondwe: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

Pamela Gondwe, a former employee of Barclays Bank Zambia stole US$ 200,000, Kwacha 250,000. Euros 22,000 and British Pounds 1,200 cash from the bank.

11. Smelly farts suspends proceedings – county assembly: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

There was a light moment at Homa Bay county assembly which saw proceedings temporarily suspended on Wednesday afternoon after one member farted during debate. Proceedings were suspended for about ten minutes to allow the pungent smell ease away. ODD NEWS indeed!

12. 42 fire tenders: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

On 29th September 2017, Lewis Mwape of the Zambia Council for Social Development, Laura Miti of the Alliance for Community Action, Sean Enock Tembo of Patriots for Economic Progress, activists Bornwell Mwewa and Mika Mwambazi and musician Fumba Chama staged a protest outside parliament to highlight the abuse of public funds, particularly the procurement of 42 fire trucks by the state for an alleged $42m.

13. Woman parliamentarian removed for bringing baby in parliament: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019.

The session was interrupted for 15minutes while Zuleikha Hassan was removed from the session with her five month old baby. Kenyan parliamentarians protested a decision by the temporary speaker of parliament’s lower house to eject their colleague who was holding her young child during a session of the legislature

14. Castrate child defilers: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

This vice continues day in day out. We need stiffer laws against child defilers. Children subjected to abuse such as rape and defilement are at risk of death, poor physical and mental health, HIV and AIDS infection, educational problems, vagrancy and poor parenting skills later in life.

15. Permanent solution needed for retirees: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

To be a retiree from the civil service in Zambia is often an unpleasant experience. This is because the retirees are associated with misery.

16. PF youths clobber Justice Minister in Kabwata: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

Kabwata Member of Parliament Given Lubinda was yesterday afternoon clobbered by unruly PF youths during his tour of Kabwata Market. The youths descended on Mr Lubinda after a misunderstanding over money issues.

17. Girls not brides: Size – 50cm x 40 cm. Year- 2019

Currently 42 per cent of girls under the age of 18 are married, meaning that two in five girls are child brides. The prevalence of child marriage in Zambia destabilizes the health, education, social and economic well-being and the general security of its citizens; and of the girls and their families in particular. Action to end child marriage is urgently required.