By Nii B. Andrews.

Late last week, Max Boadi sent me his most recent work. 

He intimated that he had begun exploring abstraction and produced a painting titled PARABLES AND RIDDLES. 

On viewing the work, what caught my attention were the white streaks at the periphery of the painting and the predominance of red, yellow and green.

For me, they are a forcible reminder of how in present day Ghana – knowledge, light and reason have been jettisoned to the periphery of our national vision, discourse and actions.

PARABLES AND RIDDLES: Max Boadi, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72 inches, 2019.

A perfect example (among many others) is the ongoing malaria vaccine trial (started in April 2019) that has been lauded by the Director General of the Ghana Health Service and some professors of medicine. On numerous occasions, these officials have conveyed to the public inaccurate and misleading information about the vaccine that is being administered to innocent children. 

My dear friend and compatriot, Nii Adziri Sackey – a specialist pediatrician writing in the latest edition of the Ghana Medical Journal, states emphatically the numerous problems with the vaccine.

Dr. Sackey quotes our own National Malaria Program from its bulletin TWO YEARS ago thus, “it is regrettable that we should expose Ghanaian children to these unknown risks when proven effective measures are not being maximally applied”.

Ehrm, the countries that have conquered malaria in Africa such as Morocco (2010) and Algeria (2019); did they use vaccines? NO! Ditto Cuba(1973) and Paraguay (2018).

What did they do and are doing that we are NOT DOING in Ghana? Hint – look around you! 

PARABLES AND RIDDLES, central detail.

Other significant multiple problems with the vaccine listed in Dr. Sackey’s paper include concerns about the unknown duration of protection from malaria provided by the vaccine and the actual cause of the increased frequency of brain infections/inflammations in children given the vaccine.

The paper quotes a warning/disclaimer from the manufacturers of the vaccine thus, “No conclusions on the impact of the vaccine on mortality can or should be drawn from this trial”.

Why then have the health pooh bahs told us something completely different? Can anyone be faulted for asking if they are cognitively challenged, simply mistaken or have sinister motives?

Perhaps we should remind ourselves of the folk character Kwaku Ananse whose numerous escapades have served as a warning to us for generations. 

The Ghanaian scholar, Kwawisi Tekpetey posits “Ananse as lawless, asocial and amoral. One systematically engaged in activities directed at gratifying his instinct for pleasure without regard for social conventions, legal ethics or moral restraints.”


So does the malaria vaccine present us with PARABLES AND (OR) RIDDLES?

Boadi in creating the painting utilizes acrylic applied with the palette knife and also the pouring method that provides for endless creative possibilities thereby producing a myriad of textural variations.

The color bars formed by deft strokes in primary colors and executed with his palette knife are strident. 

He has placed some white towards the center, but it is infiltrated with other colors including black.

It is not clear whether the white is moving in or whether it is being obliterated by the other colors.

Is there not a constant battle between transparency and opaqueness; justice and injustice; truth and falsehood?

If the white/light is moving in, perhaps we should consider it as the path of progress; a society or individual on a forward march.

But we fervently hope and pray that we are not looking at a decimated version of our beloved flag; a deeply unpleasant and bone chilling allegory. 

No one should sit on the fence when it comes to the welfare of children anywhere and we hope that we do not need to explain why.

2 thoughts on “PARABLES AND RIDDLES.”

  1. A most remarkable and impressive start for July.

    It would have been very difficult for some of us to ascertain what the piece of work is trying to communicate .
    You have nailed it to the wall !
    A friend of mine has just commented on how well you have carefully utilised words to communicate on the work of art.

    I think you should consider writing books.

  2. I love the way your article places our disregard of light, reason and common sense within the context of Max’s painting. Well done!

    I find it depressing that in spite of some vivid scientific facts we are still not able to arrive at a consensus on the efficacy of the malaria vaccine we administer to our children. Considering the seriousness of the matter government should take control and show the way forward. This kind of ostrich mentality will not help.
    Meanwhile kudos to all you guys who are doing your best to provide the public with alternative information to what is out there.

    Why can’t we have a meeting to thrash out this issue once and for all?

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