Self-proclaimed feminist Nana Kofi Acquah seeks to empower the women of Africa with his stories and photographs. According to Acquah, who is a photographer, blogger and poet, “we can’t compare a woman to a donkey, but in quite a bit of Africa that is how men treat their women. Many men are afraid that if they give women wings, they will go to realms that men themselves can never reach.” Posting frequently to his blog, Acquah composes real-life stories and images from ordinary people, presenting a clearer image of what it means to be a modern African woman.
Acquah’s love for both his grandmother and mother first led him to refer to himself as a feminist. Since then, his desire for equality and justice has only deepened. Now, Acquah’s mission is to offer viewers a more authentic perception of African women; he wants to convey something more than the stereotypes that only portray African women as helpless bystanders and victims of circumstance. While many of his photographs show destitute, struggling women, there are an equal number of images showing women empowered and at work.
According to Acquah, “the most dominant image of the African woman is as a beast of burden, she’s carrying a pot on her head or she’s carrying some firewood on her head, she’s always burdened. I see artists trying to beautify it or glorify it, but that image always depresses me.” Instead, Acquah wants to convey both the resilience and the strong spirits that African women are known for—and his unique collection of images accomplishes just that.