This body of work is a commentary on gender roles in the African society. It is an ongoing journey of self-
discovery as an artist and a ‘man’.
All my life, I’ve had people walk up to me and ask (probably thinking they are the first to notice), “Do you know you look like a girl?” I usually smile and say “Yes” but sometimes I’m tempted to answer “No, really? Tell me more”.
I’ve never really acted in a typical boyish manner, I didn’t have (still don’t have) the quintessential male personality, and for a while it really bugged me. I really tried to fit in as a guy; God knows I did. I wanted to be a man.
ALL MAN! This series is me exploring the different possibilities afforded to being human apart from the gender roles we were brought up with. It questions expectations and supposed realities expected of me as an ‘XY’ entity.
The series is also about exploring new areas in my art and just finding myself as an artist; sounds cliché I know, but having a formal education in art taught me how to paint and draw, without teaching how to make art (truth is, no one can really teach you that). This is me learning.
‘Hope You Find Him’ is me telling creatives and people in general to pay more attention to themselves, to allow for an exploration of the possibilities available to us as humans and revel in them without worrying about gender constraints. It borders on narcissism, but who cares? It’s a challenge everyone has to face to transcend to a level of being where you are comfortable with and in yourself and your art.
The American Poet E.E Cummings said, “To be nobody, but yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” This is me fighting.