Richmond Art Center Richmond Art Center

Wanda Sabir

Wanda Sabir

Special events: A satellite exhibit, MAAFA@25 features 5 artists from AOTAD: James Gayles, Lorraine Bonner, TaSin Sabir, Marva Reed, Wanda Sabir

About: A Panther in Africa – Artist Statement

The series is called: “A Panther in Africa: From St. Louis, Missouri to Ghana, West Africa” (1-3).

We are on the elder’s property where he is holding court with the younger warriors. All Diaspora men — there are four men, one Ghanaian, one from the Caribbean and the third black American. All arrived in Ghana 20-25 years ago looking for the bush and found it here. 

The younger man with Brother Muhammad stopped in Ethiopia first for a few years. 

These Diaspora men were looking to get away from the complications of structural racism, noisy capitalism and modernity. They stepped off the grid, yet when I arrived in the conversation, they spoke of how the precious bush was being chopped down, land gone, cultural treasures leased and discarded, sold to the highest bidder. 

So these men sell or rent out their houses when the road gets too close. . . hoping for a spot where they will be left alone. Off the grid, they use solar power, rainwater irrigation. They make small small carbon footprints. They live sustainable and over their time in Ghana have tried to share this way of life with the Ghanaian people; however, the west is a more attractive option to most of the youth who weld chainsaws like the cowboys of the wild wild west slang pistols. The boys chop down trees — clearing the land of their ancestors for European, Indian, Asian, American, outsiders to develop. 

It had been storming, we walked carefully around muddy places on the hillside where the three houses stood. A garden flourished, covered the landscape with edible and decorative plants–many medicine for ailments. 

The outdoor porch where Brother Muhammad sat was like a classroom, all of us eager to listen to his stories about the movement and his first time in Ghana and his return for good 30 years ago. When I went into his home, I was surprised to see the lovely marble floors and walls– spacious and open, with beautiful art in each room. 

The other house further down was round, its walls tiled with beautiful seashells and tiled glass. 


More info:

Winter Newsletter:

Artist contact info: 510-255-5579


DSC00397 A PANTHER IN AFRICA I — Revolutionary Repose. The bush, Ghana, West Africa. $250. USA.

DSC00411 A PANTHER IN AFRICA II — Schooling the generations. The bush, Ghana, West Africa. $250. USA.

DSC00420 A PANTHER IN AFRICA III — An historic stroll through time. The bush. Ghana, West Africa. $250. USA.

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