Djibouti President visits exhibition by his friend
BORAMA — The president of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh visited an art exhibition titled “color palettes” organised by painter Rifki Abdoulkader Bamakhrama in Djibouti Palace Kempinski hall on Wednesday.
Mr. Guelleh came to admire the works of his former cultural minister and close personal friend who developed passion for art and culture from an early age.
Having toured the exhibition space, the President congratulated his friend and encouraged him to continue his “magnificent job”.
In all, 53 paintings of the 118 works were exhibited by Mr. Bamakhrama and 43 of them were sold in just four hours. The head of state himself bought some of the finest paintings of the exhibition to support his friend.
“It was said that Djibouti had no interest in abstract art, which is totally false because the exhibition attracted hundreds of visitors,” Mr. Bamakhrama said who was confident he would sell the rest.
Rifki Abdoulkader Bamakhrama was born into a family of artists, including his musician father who inspired generations with his languorous melodies. Abdoulkader Bamakhrama became a pop star in Arabic and household name in the tiny red sea nation and across the gulf in Aden. Even today radios continue to play his pieces across the seas.
Although Rifki was predisposed, because of the influence of his father, a career as a musician, he developed passion for art in the broad sense including theater, choreography, and painting.
In a career that expands over two decades, Mr. Bamakhrama, a dreamer — joined the ruling People’s Rally for Progress (RPP) in the 90s after becoming a political activist.
Minister by day and a painter by evenings, Rifki combined his two passions. In twenty years, he painted 118 canvas arts. Now Free from public service Rifki is a full time painter in the open society.
During the exihibtion Mr. Bamakhrama said it was honour working for his country and serving under President Geulleh but art is his happiest moment.
“It was a great privilege to work with President Guelleh and serve my country. But we must know how to look ahead; politics are behind me, I have turned the page. I paint life, my moments of happiness, joy, sorrow, fear,” he said.
He is not only convincing Djibouti that abstract art can capture moments but he is also proving that there are options in life after politics. He says fear no abstract or departure from public duties.
May 18, 2012