Hi hi, have you met Mr. Angel, the artist?
He’s an amazing artist at Freedom Park. He christened Isioma and I with new names, ‘better head’ & ‘better waka’..but that’s the literal translation of our names. Ha!
He’s jovial. He’s happy. He’s talented. Like me, he tells stories. Unlike Him, I’ve never spent a night in jail. I’ve never faced any form of injustice.
At the age of 21, he was unjustly sentenced to the prison. He spent 16 years there. He watched friends sing their last song before their date with the hang man. He watched strangers become depressed & mentally ill. Humans were treated like animals. Life in prison was tough and fearful. He kept his sanity though, by drawing, writing, thinking rightly and trusting in God’s promises. He says the Bible is the only book allowed in there. With his work, he immortalised people like ‘John Okoli’, the sick man who died without fanfare in the prison Hospital. He wanted people to see and hear these stories, one day.
Now out of jail, he helps to advocate for the rights of innocent prisoners through Human Rights activities. He tells their stories through an exhibition of the drawings he made while in prison. I got to see the plight of prisoners that day.
Before isi and I left, I asked him, “with all you have gone through, what is your greatest lesson in life?”, he said, “Trust God. My story was sad but i saw victory. Your story may be sad too, but my advice is to trust in God’s promises, you will see victory too.” As we left the park that day, it finally dawned on me… I’m free. I breath, and eat what I want, as I want. I’m grateful for that. But the sad part is, many don’t. Injustice in prison is real… Many are crying for mercy. Again, please don’t turn a blind eye (Matt 25:36)…pray and lend your voice…Please. That’s love too. Learning that, staying calm in heart and head in turbulence is hard, but worth it. Learning too that, with God’s help, we can rise…and when we do, we should help give wings to others so they can rise too! I admire Mr. Angels work. I believe in hope…in God.
Thanks Mr. Arthur Judah Angel for an awesome time!