"I want to show people that we are more than just slaves. Slavery is new to us. We had our own society before these attacks on us. I was trying to take some of older Black culture and looking to connect the old things. Mali was the last governing power before the colonial disasters, Mali's last Emperor Samory is depicted here. He fought for ten years after every place else had fallen to the French (and the British).
The Hippo in Mali represent the spirit of the river. The name Mali also means hippo in Mandingo. When I was growing up you learned to always protect the Hippo. They are river spirits of the Niger River. The source of the Niger started in my hometown, a part of my history." H. K.