Photo Credit: Josh Mills
London Installs Anti-Colonialist Statue Of John Chilembwe Over Trafalgar Square
A new temporary bronze statue of African baptist preacher, John Chilembwe will stand tall and firm in London’s historic Trafalgar Square — an area that attracts thousands of international tourists annually.
Chilembwe led an insurrection near Zambia against the colonial rule that strengthened over the small African country during World War I. The 2021 mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will enforce this initiative that will allow the sculpted historical reminder of Chilembwe’s bravery to be in the landmark square for 2 years.
“Chilembwe Uprising” was a revolt that sparked in Malawi, which was formally called the British Central Africa Protectorate in the late 1800s. Now, the region’s colonial rule has dissolved and the country that was earlier named Nyasaland, is one of many picturesque East African countries.
Based on the religious leader who attempted to overtake Malawi back to its East African natives while the British occupied the land died for his liberating efforts, the John Chilembwe statue will stand adjacent to European Missionary, John Chorley. After the landlocked country achieved independence in 1964, the Chilembwe revolt is a historically recognized day for its citizens.
The striking statue alone is an act of resilience and revival for an aware British society that is experiencing how centuries of slavery perpetuated by Europeans has hindered African society. The Chilembwe statue will help bystanders and British citizens reflect on some of the historical grievances that took place so that the social betterment of a western country doesn’t harm another community or race of people. The national hero that is John Chilembwe helped Malawi gain their modern-day independence, and his legacy will palpably live through the statue.
Professor Samson Kambalu owned the statue that is a larger replica of a photograph taken of pan-African John Chilembwe and the missionary called ‘Antelope’. The Oxford-graduate fine artist and academic’s art-piece will feature a real-size bronze statue of Chilembwe with a smaller John Chorley standing beside each other while they both wear hats. Having your head covered with headwear in Malawi was considered misconduct for Malawians passing by Europeans in the country and Chilembwe denied this and helped progress his uproar that led to many killed and nearly 300 imprisoned.
The John Chilembwe will be installed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square that has artist’s collections and work rotate out every two years.