Cameroon street artists display 17 SDGs on 30-meter graffiti wall

Graffiti Wall

Bamenda – Sysy House of Fame has become an unstoppable challenger in the promotion of the sustainable development goals in Cameroon.

On the 1st of March, 2020, Sysy House of Fame, in collaboration with the United Nations, headed by its CEO, Njobati Sylvie, organized a 6.6 fashion show dubbed “arts for the goals”, aimed at supporting and empowering young people gifted in arts – designing, painting, fashion, and modeling. The ‘August’ event was also designed to call for the return of peace in the country.

Using entertainment and visual arts, done on a 30-meter wall of Alliance Franco, Sysy House of Fame educated the Bamenda population on the 17 SDGs. A non-verbal sketch performed by children as a tribute to the Ngabur massacre was the curtain-raiser of the show.

Fashion Show

The paintings done by Christo Becks, Bamako and Kayaman triggered the reflection of the population on the various SDGs and the importance of working towards its achievement.

According to Christo Becks, poverty is still a big problem in the world and the reason for this is because the rich are extremely rich and the poor are extremely poor. He believes that fate can change the positions of the poor and rich. He calls on the population to carry out actions that are in line with the three pillars of the SDGs – social, economic and environmental.

His paintings link all 17 SDGs, no poverty (SDG 1) leads to no hunger (SDG 2) with the figure of a man sitting on a stone, looking at a glass of water, fruits, and food. He also links no hunger to good health (SDG 3) and proceeds to quality education (SDG 4), illustrating that you can only go to school when you are in good health.

SDG 5 and 6

Christo’s painting on gender equality (SDG 5) shows a male and a female holding the symbol of gender equality and standing on a water tank, indicates that both genders can produce water. This relates to the next SDG which is goal 6, clean water and sanitation.

Christo further links affordable and clean energy (SDG 7) with decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), illustrating that the presence of technologies will promote sustainable economic growth in the society thus creating space for quality jobs.

Through his artwork, Christo advocates for industries to go green through SDG 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure. He points out that pollution is very common in Cameroon thus the need for more innovation to ensure infrastructures are sustainable.

To Christo Becks, yellow signifies joy and life and so there is happiness when people without disabilities and those with disabilities meet on a common ground to live together, thereby reducing inequalities (SDG 10).

He also links this to sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), specifying that both parties breathe polluted air which can be limited by the use of bikes, walks and public transport. The next painting picks up the aspect of abandoned plastic, glass and aluminum (SDG 12) contributing to polluted air.

17 SDGs

According to Christo, the above mentioned SDGs all link to climate change (SDG 13) and the world must act now to stop global warming which takes us to life underwater (SDG 14). Climate change affects the ocean and life on land (SDG 15) making our environment inhabitable.

Peace is an expensive commodity in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon following the escalating armed conflict that has killed hundreds while displacing thousands. Reason Christo used his painting of SDG 16 to call for the return of peace and justice in the two regions. Christo Becks rounded up his artwork with the painting of partnership (SDG 17), demanding that governments and institutions should work together for a better future for all.

To Eriene Che (ghost name), she learned painting on her own and now she belongs to a group of painters who collaborates with Sysy House of Fame. “When I got to upper sixth, I wasn’t able to attend school so I spent my time learning plastic arts”, said Eriene.

Njobati Sylvie

According to Njobati Sylvie who doubles as the UN ambassador for the SDGs, the 30 -meter wall of SDG graffiti will last for a very long time. “We have other spaces we are working on and we welcome crazy ideas from anybody. We need crazy and creative ideas that can promote the SDGs in our community”.

“To contribute to the SDGs, peace must reign and as an individual, I try my best to contribute to the goals”, said Sylvie.

llham Moussa, head of OCHA Bamenda

To llham Moussa, head of OCHA Bamenda, she wishes quality education, peace, and love for Cameroon. “I pray the dreams of kids (education) in the two trouble regions come truss. I also hope the pain and suffering in Cameroon end soon”.

In 2019, Sysy House of Fame organized a shadow theatre act in different cities of the country, to educate the youths on the SDGs and advocate for peace in Cameroon.

Maikem Emmanuela Manzie