Nana Kofi Acquah talks colonialism, being original, on The Authenticity Project.
I just saw a video of Ghanaian photographer, Nana Kofi Acquah, where he talked about authenticity. Within four and a half minutes, the photographer dropped salient points on being original that anybody in any field of endeavour could benefit from.
Taking life as a path, the Africa Showboy reckons it is possible to reroute when you find yourself uncomfortable in what you are doing. You might be taking a course to become an engineer but find out along the way that it is journalism that interests you the most. His advice is that do not be afraid to change your path. Find a way to work toward that new goal so that you can live a more fulfilling life.
Donning his trademark hat and scarf, the celebrated photographer reiterated the age-old adage on the importance of staying original. “Nobody places high value on the fake.” If you spend your most industrious periods copying others, you can only become a perfect copy. The photographer is one to live by his words. On Instagram, where he is “passionately repositioning Africa through new imagery,” you’ll find beautiful imageries of the continent and of Ghana that are put into perspective by the words he attaches to them. 93k followers are intrigued by images of women sorting shea nuts, a boy running with a bicycle wheel, and a lean, donkey he claims is hardworking.
What intrigued me most in the short video was the idea of being responsible for the mistakes in your life.
He says: “I meet too many people who hurriedly blame their parents for what they didn’t do for them, or blame their bosses for being too tough or too hard to please. Or blaming that other person. As long as the fault is with another, it is out of your hands. And yet, a lot of the times, we actually are the problem.”
The Authenticity Project is predicated on the “What could take place if we decided to be our authentic selves?” mantra. The creators present beautiful videos of people who believe in the idea of becoming the true and original version of one’s self.
On the other side of the coin, the project inculcates compassion and empathy towards others. The Rice Experience uses millions of grains in a bag of rice to paint a clearer picture of how many people have been affected by the many genocides throughout history. It might not hit you how huge it is to say a million people died in any tragedy, but representing them with so many grains is very frightening.
In this regard, Nana Kofi didn’t waste time to reiterate the harms that colonialism did to Ghanaians and Africans. By indoctrinating our ancestors with foreign ideologies, the colonialists made sure to break our confidence. They portrayed our culture and manner of things as backward and negative, introducing, in the process, a way of life and aspiration for things that were completely foreign.
In the Rice Experience, not only does one understand the gruesome scale of human atrocities, but it shows the power that one person can make. By being authentic and showing compassion, we can change the world by changing ourselves.
Like only a photographer could, the multipotentialite puts it succinctly thus: “Change you, not others.”
Watch the clip here.