By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK In her view, art helps one to see, feel and appreciate the world around one. It enriches the lives of people and gives people a broader, deeper and more sensitive realization of life. This was the opinion of the Minister of Broadcasting and Information, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, during a speech on Monday evening during which she paid homage to the late Namibian artist, John Muafangejo. The scene was the Namibia National Art Gallery at which a special exhibition in memory and as a tribute to the artist had been organized. “I feel honoured to be part of this exhibition in memory of the most historically celebrated Namibian artist, Muafangejo, the uncontested legend and father of Namibian art. In life he had contributed phenomenally towards Namibian and African art,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said. According to her, the artist knew how to express all the complexities and all the diversities as well as the conflicts existing on his native continent. “He has left a lasting legacy which will continue to have an enormous impact on the development of our visual art. Muafangejo broke free as the first indigenous Namibian artist to receive international recognition as early as 1970 at a time when our country was still under illegal occupation of apartheid oppression,” she recalled. Through his eschatological vision, the artist managed to mix his biblical references with his traditional culture, the first inherited from his Christian upbringing and the second drawn from his African identity. “For us it is to see Muafangejo, through the works of Namibian artists, as a man who worked to liberate the minds of Africans, who has inspired many of us to remember him as the Namibian artist who joined the freedom fight through his art work. May his name live forever,” she said, suggesting that a street be named after the late artist.
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