OdM 30_internet

# 30 Forcible Love
by John Ndevasia Muafangejo

1974. Linocut

Forcible Love is part of the initial collection of the Iwalewahaus dating from 1981. This work is made in 1974 by the idiosyncratic Namibian artist, who is best known for his expressive narrative and graphic quality in etching, woodcuts and linocuts. His works depicts issues relevant to him, mostly expressing thoughts and feelings of political and social-historical situations.

Forcible Love is divided into two rectangular vertical parts. Both portions consist of text describing a situation of jealousy between himself and another artist involving a woman. Central to this rectangular, we see the woman and behind her, eight individuals pointing fingers into her direction. The smaller rectangular contains a self -portrait of the artist with a chisel and a linoleum block in the hands, surrounded by a palm-tree branch on each side. The linocut is mostly black with several cuts of white, outlining ten figures and text, patterns of additional cuts highlights further impressions of mid-tones of grey.

The figures to the far left, aggressively point their fingers. The woman’s face expresses sadness. The artist himself seems to be happy and content. The text insinuates inexplicable misfortune that could have befallen him had he fallen for the temptations. The woman is considered by John Muafangejo to be very beautiful though she has been forced by her boyfriend to derail the artist not to succeed or attend art school. Her suffering can be interpreted either for not have succeeded to seduce him or for have been forced against her will to seduce him.

John Muafangejo was born in 1943 and died in 1987. His work received recognition at international exhibitions already in 1969 and lasted until the time of his death. His formal education started late in life, only through the church he was able to attend tertiary art education in South Africa studying alongside and later taught by the well-known South African artist Azaria Mbatha, whose graphics are also part of the collections of Iwalewahaus.

Aino Moongo
March 28, 2017


Lilienthal, Adelheid: John Ndevasia Muafangejo (1943 - 1987): etchings, woodcuts, and linocuts from the collection of the Arts Association Heritage Trust. Windhoek: Arts Association Heritage Trust, 2010.