African art is dying. Indeed it is dead. The reason is easy to explain…the same Africans were blackmailed by colonists that their culture is immoral, bad, evil and irrational. The same learned Africans believed the white man and rejected their own cultural roots replacing it with that of the colonizer…The same story was narrated well in the best sellers literature by a Nigerian author – the late Chinua Achebe. A man whose books were read like the bible during our olden school days, but are no longer in the syllabus. They have been replaced by Sir William Shakespear story books such as Macbeth, Othelo, Merchant of Venice and many others. Chinua Achebe used the character of an African who went to England for studies. After many years he came back with degrees. He could not speak his mother tongue anymore. He would walk in the bright day light with heavy winter jackets and an umbrella. This was simply because it was always rainy in the city of London but not in Lagos or Port Harcourt. He was a stranger to his own culture and also a stranger to the white man’s culture.
The same Africans are the killers of their own literature. Now African leaders are treating Chinese as small gods. They really worship them. All toys our children use to start learning about the reality are from the Chinese plastic technology. Games, and many other things are from China. The same African folklore has been imitated by the Chinese and now we buy it in form of cartoons and show our children. African parents are becoming the first killers of African art. Whenever parents think of giving birthday gift to their children, they go for Chinese toys other than African art. African houses are decorated by Chinese images. Some of them are even copyrights from African art. Instead of purchasing African artifacts, they prefer the same African story done by Chinese. Well that looks meaningful and attractive. African art looks primitive, ancient and unprivileged. This is how best we have become!
I find it indeed, very perplexing. The same African sons and daughters have demonstrated that their own cultural values are no longer tenable. The imported values are more tenable! This is how bad it has become. We are the killers of the african art! It is dead. It is in the grave yard not even in the modern museums! But you can find it in the African Museum in the heart of Brussels in Belgium or in London. Our governments do not even value the flora and fauna. How many African wildlife is being sold to the Western and Eastern countries? We have stopped recognizing our values and that is it!