Ospreyshire Origins: Art Theft series (Benin, Nigeria, Senegal)

2000px-Flag_of_Benin.svg

Benin Lyrics:

[Yoruba]

O ti ja aworan wa
Mase paro ki o so pe o se awon ohun-oso wonti
Awon ile iso re je awon ewon
Je ki a je ki eyi se alaye si o

[French]

Rends-nous notre art maintenant!

Image result for nigerian flag

Nigeria Lyrics:

[Igbo]

I bu ihe nleda anya

[Yoruba]

Nitori ti o ji wa aworan

[Hausa]

Bidajen kayan tarihin ku ya sa aka kama su. I ghotara?

You better return what’s ours!

Image result for senegal flag

Senegal Lyrics:

[Wolof]

Luy sa tiis?
Am nga tere xewoonu Afrig?
Yeena ngi saacee yi

[French]

Comprends maintenant?
Vous ne possedez pas notre histoire!


Here’s a triple header for the Art Theft series! These were challenging songs to write lyrics and Art Theft: Benin was actually an Ospreyshire first for me. That was the first poem I wrote that contained absolutely no English words in it! The Senegal one was even tougher because I really had to work on my Wolof since you can’t use Google Translate or any easy online sources for example. Fortunately, I bought a book on a whim that has words and phrases in Senegal’s native language.

These three countries among others in Africa are quite ticked and rightfully so. Their art, crafts, and artifacts have been looted by Europe. They’re held in museums in that continent and these African nations are suing these countries to get their stuff back. To add insult to injury, some of these nations are giving things back…as LOANED items. No, I don’t want to see loans whether temporary or permanent. You stole them, so you give them back to these nations! I really hope these nations get full returns on their art.

Here are some videos from Dr. Mumbi about the matter:

Even Dr. Y. had some choice articles about this situation:

Europe’s Largest Museums to “Loan” Looted Benin (Nigerian) Artifacts back to Nigeria

Bronze Cockerel from Benin Kingdom to be returned to Nigeria

France urged to change heritage law and return looted art to Africa

Wouldn’t it also be crazy if this situation was featured in a mainstream movie even though a character is portrayed as the bad guy for wanting the artifacts back? Oh, wait… Side note: Notice how Benin is mentioned in this clip.

Say what you will about Killmonger, but he was absolutely right about his questions involving the curator’s “ancestors” and that’s historical fact even though Wakanda doesn’t exist.

Here’s another random fact: I’m also part Beninese and I have a tiny bit of Senegalese in my DNA from my mom’s side. #ForTheCulture

The Beninese flag is from Wikipedia.

The Nigerian flag image is from Wikipedia.

The Senegalese flag image is from Wikipedia.

All videos from the Dr. Mumbi show are from Dr. Mumbi’s YouTube channel.

The museum scene is from Black Panther and is property of Marvel Studios.

3 thoughts on “Ospreyshire Origins: Art Theft series (Benin, Nigeria, Senegal)

  1. Well, I didn’t watch the Black Panther movie, but I sure heard a great deal about it and what I heard, I did not like especially when the only man who portrayed an American descendant of slaves was the so-called ‘bad guy’. We are always seen as the problem and yet those who colonized African countries and stole her people and her artifacts are perceived as ‘good’ just because they ‘loan’ Africa her stolen ‘goods’. Nothing makes any sense at all and at this point, I don’t think anything will ever make sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t feel bad about not watching it. I was pretty ambivalent about the movie. While I’m fine seeing a black superhero, I wished this movie could’ve been handled differently. I actually agree with you about the Killmonger character as seen in that clip. It bugged me how he did some villainous things, but he had so many inarguable points about colonization, how Wakanda didn’t prevent the Transatlantic slave trade or the fact that Black Panther’s father (his uncle) killed his own father even though KIllmonger had nothing to do with it since he was just a child at the time.

      I’ve been hearing more about these stories and that’s what inspired me to write these particular songs. Granted it was tricky getting the Wolof just right in the Senegal one, but I wanted to make sure to respect these cultures while also proving a point that what these European countries did was theft and they need to return these artifacts, art, etc. Loans aren’t enough and I hope those nations win those cases to get ALL of their things back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award! Oooooohhh! | Ospreyshire's Realm

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