Ghanaian multidisciplinary artist Sela Adjei has announced Thursday, May 25, 2023, as the official opening date for his most significant solo art exhibition to date which will take place at the Museum of Science and Technology, Accra.

Sela Adjei’s new work for this exhibition was inspired by his father Dr Mawuli Adzei’s forthcoming poetry anthology, also entitled ‘Zadokeli’, and the unfortunate incidents that befell humanity, particularly, Black communities, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The word “zadokeli” in Ewe, means “eclipse of the sun”.

During the global pandemic in 2020, six eclipses occurred within the year including four lunar eclipses across the world, with one total and one annular solar eclipse in addition.

The first eclipse of 2020 occurred between January 10 and 11, foreshadowing a dark year ahead.

In the Ewe worldview, an eclipse, whether solar or lunar, is of deep spiritual significance. Thus, in the event of an eclipse, traditional priests, priestesses, and diviners seek answers and offer prayers. These holders of esoteric knowledge engage with the divinities to ‘restore’ normal cosmic order through propitiation rites.

Adjei’s role here is as an artist drawing links between the 2020 eclipse and the rise in anti-Black violence and injustice and positions him among the far-seeing priests and diviners who seek answers in an effort to ‘restore’ both cosmic and social order. Thus, through his new collection of paintings, Sela Adjei visually expands the discussion of analogizing the Black predicament with a recurring image of a gloomy eclipse.

A number of selected paintings (Black Power Series) complemented by Elikplim Akorli’s spoken word poetry will form a virtual component of the exhibition in order to reach a wider global audience. As a collaborating artist, Elikplim Akorli will also thrill the audience at the opening reception of the exhibition with a spoken word performance.

Zadokeli is made up of over 60 large-scale paintings which have never before been displayed in public and is curated by Edwin Otta and Michael Nii Dodoo Darku. A book containing critical essays reflecting on the various issues captured in the Zadokeli collection will be released at the exhibition. The book was edited by G. Edzordzi Agbozo, PhD (University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA) and Niklas Wolf, M.A. (University of Zurich).

The contributing scholars include Asana Greenstreet, M.A. (Royal College of Art), Matthew Francis Rarey, PhD (Oberlin, Ohio, USA), Elikplim Akorli, M.Phil, Damawa L. Jallah, Alan Dunyo Avorgbedor, PhD (McGill University’s Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture), Kwabena Agyare Yeboah (University of California, Santa Barbara), Kate Wand, MFA, Nii Kotei Nikoi, PhD (College of Wooster, Ohio, U.S.A.), and Fidelia Ankomah, M.Phil  (University of Cape Coast, Ghana).

Zadokeli will officially be launched by Prof Obadele Kambon at the opening reception.

For more information about the Zadokeli Exhibition, visit:

About the Poets

Mawuli Adzei, PhD is a scholar in English, Folklore, and Cultural Studies. He has been teaching Creative Writing, Postcolonial Literature, Oral Literature, Popular Genres, African Poetry, and other courses at the Department of English, University of Ghana, since 1999. He has published Taboo (novel, 2011), Testament of the Seasons (poetry, 2012), The Jewel of Kabibi (novel, 2013), The Witch of Lagbati, (novel, 2014), Filaments (poetry, 2018), Guilty as Charged (short stories, 2018) and Bakudi’s Ghost (novel, 2019). Zadokeli (poetry, 2023) is his latest poetry anthology. He is the recipient of the Valco Trust Literary Award (1996), Atukwei Okai Poetry Prize (2018, 2019), Ama Ata Aidoo Short Story Prize (2019), and the Ayi Kwei Armah Novel Prize (2019).

Elikplim Akorli, MBA known by his stage name The God of Poetry, is a Ghanaian writer and artist based in Accra. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cape Coast, and an MBA in Human Resources from the Ghana Institute of Management & Public Administration. He has self-published two poetry anthologies; A Heart’s Quest and Purple Harmattan, the latter, which honours his mother tongue by presenting poems in both English and EƲe. With an array of eclectic inspirations, he combines elements of music, spoken word, poetry, and visual art to investigate what it means to be human. He is intrigued by the psyche of his audience. Through his work, he aims to engage them through the five senses and to create the space for them to question their journey through life, who we are as Africans, and the role we individually play in service to the earth and its inhabitants. He also aims to connect his audience to the essence that animates all life on earth and inspire them to explore their relationship with this essence. He is an active force on Accra’s art scene as a poet, spoken word artist, and performer, creating unique and immersive experiences. He recently released his debut album; Spellbreaker, a body of work that showcases poetry and sound art available on all streaming platforms.

About the artist

Sela Adjei, PhD is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher, and curator with degrees in Communication Design, and African Art and Culture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi. He received his PhD in African Studies from the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a member of the African Studies Association, ACASA, AI4Afrika, and the International Society for Folk Narrative Research. He has participated in over 20 exhibitions and curated high-profile exhibitions and art festivals. He has also worked as a curator and an art consultant with reputable Art Galleries, Museums, Publishers, Research Institutes, and Universities.

Sela Adjei’s prominence on Ghana’s contemporary art scene is reflected in his ability to confront socio-political issues such as the #EndSARS movement, and the killing of George Floyd. Adjei’s ongoing series: Hunter Hunted (2017), Black Power Series (2019), Fragments (2020), Zadokeli (2020-2023), Simulations (2021), and #EndSars (2022), reflects the recurring social problems in contemporary society back to us for introspection and deep contemplation.

His works essentially aim at evoking basic human emotions in response to these social problems. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Media, Arts, and Communication in Accra, where he teaches Philosophy, Digital Imaging, Design, Art History, and Drawing.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.