Background & Inspiration
the spirit of fear and oppression
The downcast, woeful, crestfallen, gloomy, doleful and severely depressed faces covered in deep crimson, scarlet, dabs of animal blood, sackcloth, ashes, corroding metal and cow dung paste constitute this impressive work entitled “Mburuchusi.”
They represent the sorrow, stagnation, frustration, misery, despondency, dejection, despair, hopelessness, purposelessness, inexplicable anguish and discouragement of Man when he is under the oppression of the spirit of fear and hence is veiled from discovering his true identity, heritage, purpose, potential, authority, power and freedom.
The grim faces depict a people, community or citizenry under the manipulative, corrupt, short-sighted, confused, visionless, and brutal ruler-ship of this world’s systems of government.
However, the melancholic mood in the work and delineated through the callous and unforgiving materials deployed in creating the elements accompanying the grim faces alludes to the spirit and nature of oppression and exposes how it distorts the inherent leadership spirit of Man.
The stronghold of fear
To comprehend how oppression (as one of this world’s systems of control wholly administered and sustained by the spirit of fear) has distorted and continues to distort Man's authentic image as a leader, it is important to begin by articulating the difference between oppression and depression before assaying the source and nature of oppression.
Depression is internal. It can be caused by disappointments, extreme fatigue, a stressful schedule, an imbalanced diet or a chronic chemical imbalance in a human’s body.
This also implies that with the right medication, rest, change of diet, environment and even meditation, depression can be managed and dealt with until it recedes and eventually goes away.
On the other hand, oppression is external. It is an outside force dominating the spirit-specie of Man created in two models, male and female.
It is an external influence controlling him, an outward power manipulating him; an extrinsic, foreign, alien and adventitious impetus with a sinister agenda who comes to tyrannize an individual, a couple, a family, a community, a society and eventually the entire specie of Mankind.
Oppression is domination. The word “oppression” portrays a dominating tyrant - an outside force that comes down on a person, people, community, ethnicity, race, bloodline, clan, country and/or even a continent.
The word also depicts the oppressive power of a wicked tyrant, a despotic ruler and autocratic leader who rules over and cruelly tyrannizes his citizens.
The word oppression also portrays and describes an authoritarian regime and a dictatorial system that dominates the entire nation or a targeted group, organization, class, gender, race or ethnicity by introducing new statutory laws, manipulating existing laws, amending constitutional clauses, changing policies at will, and controlling the justice system.
Fear robs Man of his identity
As represented by the cold, hostile and untreated remnants of metal torn from a discarded boiling water tank the faces in the composition are grounded upon, oppression means to burden and overpower with cruel, unjust, and unreasonable restraint. It also means to treat with severity, to gravely afflict, subdue and crush with brutal force and to overwhelm, overburden, weigh down and torment without recess.
The charcoal, tar, cow dung paste and ashes used to define the features of the tormented faces also represent how oppression is synonymous with repression, abuse, brutality, compulsion, conquering, control, harassment, coercion, harshness, suffering, severity, maltreatment, injustice, despotism, iron handedness, hardness, force, and smothering without abating.
Fundamentally, and most importantly, the spirit of oppression, whose intention is alluded to in the faces of the people in “Mburuchusi” and rendered in the preparatory drawings for the composition as a “recalcitrant, unrepentant and malevolent creature” is an unseen evil force, an insidious power and a ruthless and invisible hand in command of an extremely wicked and highly disciplined, organized, trained, skilled and loyal troops.
These naturally invisible ‘troops’ are systematically dispatched according to rank and mission to go and attack, seize, capture and control the central command center of every human, the place from which every Man rule and controls his internal and outward environment, the place where reasoning, perception and understanding take place - his mind (see fig 1).
By definition, a stronghold is an invisible prison or castle with walls that cannot be penetrated that is created in a Man's mind by the spirit of fear from where his diabolical forces (troops) operate.
Fear also begins to repeatedly show him what will happen in his future and the future of those he cares for and everyone who physically looks like him should he dare try to escape, question his position or challenge his already decided fate.
In time, that stronghold becomes a prison for that Man, as he is held behind bars by an external force.
As alluded to by the wide-open eyes of practically all the faces in the “Mburuchusi,” an oppressed people can look out of the invisible prison that their minds are being held hostage and wish, hope and even dream to be free, and even write plans on how to be free, but they don’t know how to escape or how to be delivered from this invisible prison.
For the person, people, society or community whose collective mind is oppressed by the spirit of fear, they might want to be delivered and set free from this doleful state that has brought in, matured and exacerbated shame, reproach, desolation, despair, disrepair, disunity, witchcraft, divisions, superstitions, corruption, hate, delusions, diseases and death into their community, but they don’t know how.
The destiny decapitating spirit of fear
As depicted by the charred, barbaric, offensive and crude ground the faces are affixed to, their minds have been captured, their capacity to reason has been adulterated, their faith has been contaminated, memories of their glorious past have been buried and replaced by glossy billboards of their worthless existence and hopeless future. They are in prison. An external force, an outside influence and a wicked tyrant is ruling over them, remotely telling them what to think, say, see, feel and imagine.
To summarize, oppression is a by-product of a stronghold and a stronghold is built and sustained by the wiles, lies, accusations, allegations, insults and criticisms systematically launched and repeatedly hurled by a well-governed system under the control and influence of the spirit of fear.
In time, the people begin to believe the accusations, assertions, smirches, smears and proclamations about who they are, where they are from, what they can and cannot do and how far they can go. When their faith in these insinuations, wrong beliefs, erroneous philosophies and demonic ideologies supported by warped theology based on erroneous concepts void of precept have matured, it becomes their reality.
While this sad state of accepting the oppressor’s lies as “reality” is only alluded to in “Mburuchusi” by the deliberate arrangement of the faces, a preparatory sketch for the work shows two figures with burnt heads trapped in a gross darkness with their hands stretched out in a helpless, lackadaisical and beggarly manner clearly depicts how oppression distorts every human being’s inherent leadership image (see fig 2).
oppression and man’s leadership image
Practically defined as the conscious act of subjugating a people by cruelty and force and persecuting Man on the basis of his race, gender, ethnicity and religion, at its core, the stronghold of oppression is in the mind as aforementioned.
In key words in his Kingdom Lexicon, Nya’ defines oppression as “a highly effective prescription remotely administered by the spirit of fear, which works by individually, yet collectively weighing down a distinguished people’s mind until every one of them is molded into a desired state.”
As indicated by the wire-pegged mouths, nail-clamped tongues, and ash and dung-smeared lips of the sullied visages in the composition, some of the chief symptoms of oppression include: incessant complaining, interminable confessions of yesterday’s woes and endless confessions of one’s unworthiness.
This births and matures the spirit of offense, extreme bitterness, jealousy, covetousness and a state of hopelessness and discouragement which in turn fosters the spirit of dependency.
Once these symptoms take root, the people oppressed or the community, race, citizenry or person under this vile and destiny-decapitating force become a mere shadow, a breathing corpse and a walking grave whose every breath, footstep, vocabulary, diet and conformed aspirations are dictated by fear.
Consequently, this allows the oppressed to be easily dominated, manipulated and remotely shepherded to a destiny that solely and perennially profits the oppressor.
The devouring nature of greed
Deftly designed to devalue the oppressed, the cardinal goal of oppression is to “break the spirit” of the oppressed.
The highlighted phrase ‘break the spirit’ is important to understand.
As The Holy Spirit clearly states through King Solomon, “a broken spirit dries up the bones” or shuts down the site in a human being’s body where blood is manufactured - his bones. And since the life of every creature is in the blood, it is sufficient to say that oppression literally annihilates or sucks the life out of Man.
The word ‘life’ here is also important to understand as it not only refers to the absence of oxygen in a creature. At its root, the word implies growth, development, vision, profit, restoration, vitality, energy, verve, vigor, confidence and zest.
To that end, it is discerning to quote Nya's revelatory elucidation on oppression, which in part states:
“Where the spirit of oppression abides, where his residue lingers, where his invisible scars are traceable, purpose is stillborn and vision is aborted as leaders become vagabonds. Faith becomes a pitiful servant and a worthless currency deployed to purchase mere survival and employed to dry the deluge of tears from the walls of a people whose lips are tattered from lamenting their plight and grieving past injustices while basking in the sweet bye-and-bye freezing sunshine of religion”
The residue of oppression
In essence, the concept of breaking the spirit means to control a Man's thinking until he surrenders. In other words, as long as a human is not yielding or resigning to the oppressor’s effort and thus is still willing to fight, his spirit is not yet broken. But when a person surrenders to his environment or gives in to the beliefs, lies, accusations, opinions, ideas, doctrines, ideologies, philosophies and demands of the powers that be and decides “I am not fighting anymore,” his spirit is broken and the oppressor has succeeded.
Sadly, as highlighted in “Mburuchusi” through the discouragement portrayed in the faces of the people, and in a preparatory drawing of the painting showing a figure draped in apparel with coins from ancient Empires whose erroneous philosophies and ideologies are still influencing this present world’s political, government, educational, judicial and economic systems, this has happened to a hoard of communities, races, ethnic groups and nations across the planet.
Furthermore, as suggested in the exquisite drawing by the stark contrast between the figure’s head smeared with charcoal and ashes and its bottom abounding with gold-quoted Scriptural references, many Holy Spirit-filled and Word-confessing believers are oblivious to the thick avalanche of oppression fogging their minds due to their history of slavery, colonialism, communism, capitalism, socialism and all the other 226 isms created by Man to try and exercise his innate mandate of dominion without his Creator (see fig 3).
By pegging the mouths of the lugubrious faces in “Mburuchusi” with concrete nails, discarded metal, dried twigs and rusted bottle tops, Nya’s intention is to emphasize that fear is a spirit that robs Man of his identity hence stripping him of the knowledge of his divine leadership spirit thereby reducing him to a timid, resentful, jealous, covetous, distrustful and hateful creature with no control over his mind, will and emotions since he cannot control his words.
However, the earth mixed with dabs of lamb’s blood and deep crimson and scarlet hues flowing down the nucleus of the composition represent the price that was paid to purchase Mankind from the slave market of fear and restored to him the leadership position he had lost through his forefather’s (Adam) declaration of independence from the ideal government the Creator had granted humanity to righteously dominate, subdue and replenish the colony of earth.
This government is the perfect and ideal government for Mankind. In essence, the 12 squares in the composition, the 12 elements every reasonable government and politician on earth explicitly or implicitly promises to its citizens, namely order, righteousness, peace, liberty, riches, justice, mercy, honor, preservation, impartiality, happiness, power, protection and health.
This government alluded to by the 12 squares amidst the despondency in “Mburuchusi” is an unprejudiced government accessible to any human who acknowledges, believes and confesses that Jesus is His Lord and His only savior from the bondage of fear remotely administering the world systems.
Essentially, this government is what every human on earth is consciously or unconsciously searching for and desperately hopes our systems of government, religion, business, science, politics, justice and education will help him find it.
This government is the invisible government the Creator of the universe prepared beforehand for Mankind to abide in, and after the first human declared independence from his Creator, humanity lost it, until it was legally brought back to earth in the body of Jesus. This government is The Kingdom of God in The Holy Spirit.