By Nii B. Andrews

There is a chilling biblical account of mass infanticide ordered by Herod in a misguided attempt at preventing a prophecy of the three wise men from the east.

Even prior to that and since then, human history has recorded numerous other massacres. But can we confidently say that we have seen the last of them?

In every case, both the perpetrator and victim are dehumanized; the soil is soaked with blood; the rivers are colored crimson; the vegetation is stained red and an eerie silence descends on the land.

MASSACRE: Kofi Awuyah, acrylic on canvas, 152 x 183 cm, 2018. Signed and dated right lower corner. Title and date verso. Private collection, purchased from the artist.

Those who survive wander about as molochs in a degraded landscape of shattered dreams, lost innocence and mutilated bodies.

In Kofi Awuyah’s frenzied painting – “Massacre”, a dark blood red AK- 47, frames the right edge.

Following its invention in 1949 by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the “AK” has been the weapon of choice of freedom fighters and terrorists – one man’s……

Does Awuyah send a message with the juxtaposition of the AK next to the derriere of a quadruped and it’s jewels?


Moving to the top left half of the painting, we encounter what look like a pair of agitated (? semi- nude/ topless) female figures flanking a pair of grenades – deadly pineapples, or pears; another not infrequent weapon for mass killing.

Is there another coded message here?

But lest we forget, in low tech communities, the machete or panga  comes into its own as a prized tool for dismemberment.

An already bloody one is being wielded by a tan colored figure who is astride a supine teal colored figure, and the former is going for the right arm; no sterile technique, no anesthesia!


Other already amputated limbs lie nearby and all eyes are wide open with mania or crushing horror – horror generated with the terrible trio of gun, bomb and machete.

Of course in such a situation, the sun takes on an ashen or leaden hue to emphasize that death and darkness are sweeping across the land; the light is obscured.


What is the lesson if any?

Perhaps it is this; all people of goodwill must remain eternally vigilant and ready to challenge those who wittingly or unwittingly through persistent anti-democratic practices, sow the seeds of anarchy and violence among us.

We must confront and contain the little Hitlers – those with narcissistic traits – overconfident, domineering, corrupt and with an unwillingness to listen to others or allow for others to speak, those with a warped sense of entitlement and a penchant for adulation and glory.

How many of us can and will?

5 thoughts on “MASSACRE”

  1. Rather poignant . Massacre and desecration interchangeable here.  We have almost ‘destroyed ‘ any semblance of Africaness by both ‘victim and perpetrator.  Hmmm. Unholy mix indeed! I always stand on the side of CREATIVITY .. so do you.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. What we need is Universal consciousness, and not those religious leaders/Prophets who corrupt people’s minds with their  preaching,  and make huge profits.

  3. Good morning NBA.

    Yes, to use a cliche, we must stand up and be counted. Good piece as always.

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