By Dennis Osei Gyamfi, GNA
Accra, March 5, GNA – Gabriel Mencoln Kembo, shares an interesting story about how he was victimized and forced into exile from his native Congo, but was able to defy the odds and rose from the shackles of despair.
Born in Kinshaha to a Congolese fine artist, Kembo as popularly referred to, was banished from Congo by President Joseph Kabila, due to his free expression of views.
He can no longer go back to his country because of his situation and has been hoping around countries that accepts him for his works and has been in Ghana for over a year now.
The 35 year-old Kembo is one of Africa’s gifted artists, with an eye for finesse designs, as an architect and plays seven different musical instruments, as a musician.
The multi-talented artist, also produces short films and documentaries as an actor and has won several merits including the Nekongo prize in 2013.
Described as a freedom fighter, Kembo dedicates most of his works to activism, as his way of serving humanity.
The body of his works include, series of projects for luxury hotels, restaurants, exhibitions and individuals, paintings with innovative techniques, and furniture.
He gives much attention to details in his works and puts premium on excellence in the works he does.
Sample of his masterpieces are on exhibition at the Ama Atta Aidoo Center for Creative Writing (AAACCW) of the African University College of Communication in Accra.
Marking his first exhibition in Ghana, Kembo displays eight of his magnum opus, which were produced within a space of three months and themes the exhibition “Born Artist.”
Born Artist is a collection of metal bas-relief panels, would be a month-long exhibition at the (AAACCW) from March 1 to March 31, from 11:00Hrs to 18:00Hrs GMT.
He titles the eight bas-relief panels as; Tombouctou, The Omega, Breeder of All Lives, Coexistence, King Protector, The Oracle, In my mind and Determination.
On the opening day of the exhibition, Kembo patiently took his audience and admirers through the concept of the artworks, which he said depicts the cycle of life, freedom, harmony and the God element in all things.
He also said his motivation for “Born Artist”? was to give a true account of the African story to the young and upcoming children.
“I do art with art with my spirit because I have to give to the society and thus the children. Thus in my works I tell the children the truth about our history. And my only way to speak the truth is through my artworks”, he said.
He crafts the aesthetic artworks from metals and wonderfully blends with masks from Ghana to give it a perfect touch of class.
“In my art I use mask from Ghana, because I like the fines of the art and people of Ghana as well. Ghanaian arts are so powerful and inspirational and that is why I always want to use it in my artworks. When someone shows you the Ghanaian mask, you can feel the person’s story in it and if you are a real African you will feel good in your spirit,” he added.
Nana S. Acheampong, Director of the AAACCW said, the exhibition is part of the Centre’s desire to converge all different arts performance; visual, spoken, and written word at one center.
He said the Center had been known for its excellence in written word, but they were also trying to mix with visual and other kinds of arts.
He said it was a second in their series, which would also be masters of Ghanaian fine arts.
He said the Center would continue to bring the best artists available to motivate students with their works.
AUCC, is a private tertiary institution established in 2002 by Kojo Yankah, a former member of Parliament and editor of the Daily Graphic.