The Frame - Conversations with Ayanda Fine Art podcast

Rufai Zakari : Art Changes People. People Change the World

15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts

Art is a powerful tool that can be used to change the world. It's a way to express yourself and make others feel good. Art can be used in many ways, but the most important thing is how you use it. Meet our guest, Rufai Zakari, an artist and community leader based in Accra and Bawku in Ghana who explores consumerism, environmental pollution, labor, trade and the perils of industrialization, and contemporary Ghanaian society. Rufai is also the founder of Rujab eco Art Foundation, which focuses on improving the nature of our environment by providing good environmental education and fostering creativity with the environment. Rujab foundation also supports single mothers and young people by providing them with jobs, shelter, and support for their education.

But Rufai’s work with sustainability didn’t start today. Right from childhood, he had a passion for art, and once found himself in trouble for using his school books to draw. Growing up in a family of 15 children and with nothing too much to talk about in his rural hometown apart from the constant conflicts in the region, Rufai and his mother moved to a new community, Nima in Accra in search of the future. 

But Nima was no different. Notorious and well known in Crime, Rufai thought going to Nima was like “jumping from fire to fire.” But these harsh conditions brewed a new person. And today, the places he has lived in have shaped and inspired his work of art, which now sells internationally!

What’s even more? Rufai now looks forward to continuing with his works in sustainability by building a sustainable center in Ghana, from waste! This center will be used for technical and skill development for the locals and anyone that could use it for their benefit.

Tune in to listen more about the inspiration behind his work and activism, the roles of artists in our society, why his works focus on women more.

You can view Rufai's work at his upcoming exhibition: "There is still tomorrow " at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery Berlin from 3 September to 8 October 2022.

Notable Quotes

  • I always interact with people in the community, I see my problem, and their problems, and then I always try to find a solution to those problems. 
  • The big thing that happened to my life that changed my career is the environment that I lived in.
  • Nothing can be done without art. So it's really important in our lives.  And not just me. There are a lot of artists in Ghana that are really making an impact. 
  • Every successful home has to do with a woman. And throughout my life, I've been supported by women.
  • I got life through art. I'm an artist because it makes me happy. My family is happy, my community is happy, and of course, many people around the world.

**This episode was recorded in August 2021**

To find out about Rujab Eco Art FoundationSpace  follow them on instagram: rujabecoart.

To find out about Rufai's  current and upcoming exhibitions, follow him  on instagram: @rufaiart

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