The floods always come, but in 2015 they came firing all cylinders taking down everything that was on its way. In an uncharacteristic fashion, the floods blended sweetly with fire on 3rd July to cause what can be described as one of the worst disasters recorded this year. Mourning over our losses and assuring ourselves that never again will we allow this to happen, we realized that plastic waste can be fingered as one of the numerous catalyst in causing this havoc. As the Accra Metropolitan Assembly shameless go around demolishing buildings on waterways, as the serial callers on our radio and TV stations take turns to lament and complain about the state of affairs in the capital and oo!, Not forgetting the celebrities and the organizations who will be sending their donations to the affected flood victims. We are bereaved as a nation and are looking for solutions and answers to the problems around us.
Plastic waste, as indicated as a catalyst in causing the floods in Accra has become more than a canker and in recent weeks and months there have been strong calls for an outright ban to deny its usage in Ghana. But a young man called Rufai has different ideas and is thinking at a speed far ahead of his era. Meet Rufai Zakari from Nima a freelance artist whose work of art transcends from the use of discarded materials like plastic bags to create picture pixels that reference human beings and symbols that depict society. Rufai graduated from the Ghanatta College of Art in 2011 and a member of the Nima Muhinmanchi Art (NMA) and the Hipsters of Nature. Through his organization Rufia Arts he has participated in numerous projects and exhibitions both home and abroad. Some of which are, an art event by Alliance Francaise in Accra – Ghana, ACCRA [Dot] ALT’s CHALE WOTE Street Art Festival – Ghana, Plastic World- Ghana, Nima for Peace – Ghana, Fund Raising Exhibition for Haiti – Canada, Novotel Hotel in Accra- Ghana, Gbagba Art Foundation – Ghana, JayNii Charity Foundation- Ghana. He has also organized an art workshop for the Bright Future Orphanage and held a Mamobi Community workshop with children under a topic “A Plastic World and Sustainable Environment”.
Quickly settling on the real pudding that made us identify Rufia is his recent work the “Vision Out of Plastic” initiative a plastic waste installation of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and a Sanitation Mural Painting topic “Plastic World” to sensitize people on dangers of plastic bags.His contribution to keeping a green environment granted him a chance to exhibit his “Vision Out of Plastic” installation in many places such as Du bois Exhibition Center and at a conference with the C.E.O of KFW Bank Germany Dr. Ulrich Schröder in Ghana, Environmental Film Festival at the British Council Ghana, the World Environmental Day at Labadi beach and several other places. For Rufai his work of art is a homage to his community and the nation at large. He acknowledges the hardwork of his team and the role they have played in making his dream a reality; Hashim Husein Mozzay ,Sharif Issaka, John Abane, Prince Ofoe Ceeba ,Yussif Ojaff, Janet ,Victoria and all those who believe in the Rufai dream.
Reacting to whether plastic should be banned he had this share “ In life there are positives and negatives, if you have been in the negative side for long without any sign of change then you must get rid of it else you will rather be digging your own grave. I think this plastic issue should be handled in this same way. We have been in it for long and we have gotten nothing positive from it so I think is time we get rid of it or we should find a way to handle plastics”
If you want to see Rufia Art develop then they want your support and that of companies and organizations to aid them carry out their work of sensitizing people on dangers of plastic bags, the safe way to handle plastic bags and to produce more installations from ten thousand plastic bags. Remember that it takes 200- 1000 years to decompose when you throw plastics away, it forms part of stagnant water in your environment and end up causing all kinds of deadly diseases and cladding eventually leading to the floods we experience.