Get to know how the South African artist uses imagery of the joyous African child as a language to communicate universal truths with the world.
It seems that Trevor Noah has been putting on for African creatives on The Daily Show more often and we’re here for it.
South Africa’s very own Nelson Makamo recently made an appearance on the show, where he talks about his journey from making his own toys out of clay to showing his family and community that he can establish himself as an earning artist independently.
“You’ve gone from being a successful South African artist to a world-renowned artist,” Noah says to Makamo. “People come to South Africa to view your art, to purchase your art—from Alicia Keysto Oprah Winfrey.”
Makamo also explains how he developed his noteworthy work into his own universal language, especially since his travels have revealed to him that we’re all going through and aspiring for the same things as human beings.
He then goes in detail as to why he uses imagery of African children:
I had to use a reference that was too close to me which is of the child—an African child. If you look at how the African child was portrayed globally, it was portrayed either hungry, disadvantaged and all of that. But if you’ve been to Africa…it’s like a taboo. I had to go back and reintroduce how we are as Africans—to actually say that we are more or less the same as any other person in the world.
As Noah summarizes, Makamo is well on his way to create a world where young African artists can access the world with their art rather than the gatekeepers telling them how their art should be accessed.
Watch the full clip here or below.