Moustapha Baidi Oumarou Cameroon, b. 1997

"Young, dynamic, optimistic, uninhibited, Moustapha’s paintings resemble their author; they are full of qualities and are deserving of our connection."

Moustapha Baidi Oumarou – Flower Power

Generation Z, colloquially known as ‘zoomers’, have been described as the most socially conscious, politically aware, and technology engaged generation since the hippie youths of the 60’s that spearheaded the flower power movement.

This generation of young activists, actively campaign against the social ills that they see around them; whether that be police brutality, sexual harassment and gender violence, cyber bullying, pollution and climate change, or promoting gay marriage, and the rights of the LGBTQ+ communities. Additionally, zoomers, are typically described as having greater expectations of society and the world they live in, than previous generations, which lends itself to why this demographic of young people are fueled by a greater sense of optimism and hope for their future, and the role they must play to be the change they wish to see.

In the context of the African continent, a unique and distinct ‘Afro-zoomer’ population is rapidly on the rise, poised not only to be the fastest and youngest growing demographic in the world by 2050, but also the most educated, digitally engaged and socially conscious. This generation have been raised with an unparalleled access to information online, influenced and moulded by a plethora of different cultures and customs, and are more cosmopolitan and global in their outlook on how they see the world, and themselves.

Moustapha Baidi Oumarou, is the archetypal Afro-zoomer.

Young, well educated, socially conscious, upwardly mobile, digitally engaged and optimistic, Moustapha represents the generation of young Africans who took to the streets to ‘End SARS’ in Nigeria, and called for action against illegal mining and the environmental damage of galamsey in Ghana.

His personal values and consciousness are informed by his progressive philosophy of humanism, which is underpinned by a calling for society to lead ethical lives, inspired by his tenets of love, joy, peace, cooperation and happiness.

Through his work, Moustapha explores and conceptualises his very own idealised and idyllic contemporary world, reminiscent of the golden age of the garden of eden before the fall of man.
His muses; translucent, with no clear and definitive identity that could suggest their religion, culture, ethnicity or nationality, dwell in tranquility and harmony within their environment, marked by grand, enveloping foliage that seemingly offer refuge, protection and sustenance for its inhabitants.

His bold, vibrant backgrounds, not only allude to the diversity and wide spectrum of ecological and climatic conditions of his own home in Northern Cameroon, a melting pot of desert, savannah and forest, but more significantly they pay homage to the ever shifting, dynamic human condition, and the beauty and complexity of its multitudinous expressions.

In his latest works, notably, Univers Positif I and II, the artist subtly alludes to the need for more life and beauty, through the bold contrasting pops of colours of his muses, against the dark, and dreary background that signifies the urban environment. In true young revolutionary fashion, and in the spirit of the modern Flower Power movement of zoomers, these pieces closely parallel contemporary demands for more green spaces, better air quality and slower living, across the urban city centres of both emerging and developed nations, globally.

For the young artist, and Afro-zoomer, Flower Power is not only a reflection and extension of his appreciation and fondness of nature, the environment, and how humans interact with their natural surroundings, but on a metaphysically level, it is about the celebration of life and beauty in a hyper idealised world free of boundaries, polarisation, and inhibitions, in essence, joie de vivre.

Raphael Dapaah
Art writer, Consultant, Contributor
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