Angu Walters a gifted African artist in a civil war
There are not many places more perfectly remote than Bamenda, Cameroon, Central Africa. Not many places where it is more difficult for a gifted artist to emerge from obscurity, It's a city surrounded by jungle and now is at the center of a long-running civil war.
I visited my USA diplomat friend in 2007 when he was posted to Douala, Cameroon, and we went on a road trip throughout much of the country. Leaving our hotel one morning, a set of paintings in the lobby caught our attention. We happened to think to look on the back and there was a phone number. Turns out, the artist was nearby and he invited us to his studio.
Bamenda is a city in ruins and the artist, Angu Walters, lives in a neighborhood in ruins. That made it all the more stunning when upon entering his studio we found like 200 extraordinary paintings.
Angu turned out to be a humble young man with an easy joyful laugh. We were smitten.
We bought a few paintings and then, in subsequent weeks, they kept in touch. My friend's duties included looking after American visitors to the major port city, Douala, so he took some paintings on consignment and sold them to foreign visitors (keeping no money, of course).
That went so well that when it came time for my friend to move to Korea, Angu Walters gave him about 20 paintings to go on selling. He dropped them with me in the USA and so I made a website for Angu. I've sold many paintings over the years (again, keeping none of the money) and from time to time, he sends me more paintings.
I like to say that I help Angu both because he is such a fine person and such a fine artist, and were both of those things not true then I never would have gone to so much bother.
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-Chuck Cavanaugh, Boise, Idaho, USA
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