Nana Kofi Acquah , renowned photographer, blogger and poet in his quest to celebrate the African Woman presents an exhibition titled;  Don’t Call Me Beautiful on Wednesday, 3rd February, 2016 at the Exhibition Hall of Alliance Française Accra.

“Don’t Call Me Beautiful” is an exhibition by Nana Kofi Acquah that celebrates the African woman’s resilience. These images are a true account of all that life throws at her, and most importantly, how she gracefully braces herself and handles them.

“I cannot think of a significant life moment, I have had, that didn’t involve some woman. These photographs are both a song in celebration of the African woman, and a criticism of how our societies deliberately impede their every movement.” This is Nana Kofi Acquah’s statement

To him, the reason why the African Woman requires special attention is because the mountains she has to climb over are huge. In art and culture, she is presented as this prehistoric survival with scarifications and bare breasts, a glorified beast of burden or a breeding machine; with some load on her head, a baby tied to her back, and a train of children following her. In the news, she’s presented as a victim of rape or war, a wandering refugee and everything negative; and most of these images are not necessarily untrue and  will do damage to anybody’s sense of self-worth.

Nana Kofi is an artist who tries to use his work to admire, celebrate and enjoy the African Woman without objectifying her. Thus when the dominant imagery of the African woman changes, the world’s perception of her will change

When asked where he got the inspiration for this exhibition, he narrates his experience in Liberia saying;

“I was in Liberia shortly after the war. I saw a country led by a woman, supported by mainly women, rising from the ashes. These women had been left to deal with the dying embers of the unruly wrath and carnage caused by arrogant, headstrong men. I have had the privilege of photographing the African woman for years. I have been a witness to her struggles, her dreams, her fears and her achievements.   It is hard to be stretched this much and not break. For how long can a tree sway in the storm and not break? And yet, she stands- in spite of it all”.

 The exhibition features photographs of women living with HIV\AIDS, the first women to be elected president of an African country, a 9 year old rape victim, who together with her family are seeking both justice and redress, and countless other stories- of pain and fame and resilience.

These documents are evidence of the fact that the woman is strong, determined, intelligent, driven, passionate, empowered, fearless, witty, and a whole lot more than just beautiful team with his inspiring work.

The exhibition which will run from Wednesday 3rd February to 9th March, 2016 from 9am to 9pm each day (except during activities) will begin with a launch and cocktail on Wednesday 3rd February at 6:00pm at Alliance Française Accra Exhibition hall.

More than a photo exhibition, this event will also feature poetry and a sound installation by the Nana Kofi Acquah himself.

RATE: FREE –Wednesday, 3rd February at 6pm, Exhibition Hall – Alliance Française Accra



Lisa Baakope

Lisa Baakope, is the author of this website, a Ghanaian broadcast journalist, nature lover, humanitarian and a passionate music lover. Enjoy your visit