'Daiyanteh' (Whispering)
Njogu Touray


Acrylic on canvas; collage with cloth and mirror

60cm (h)

60cm (w)


The painting is 60cm diameter.

A group of people are whispering together, sharing information closely. Whispering doesn't carry negative gossipy connotations in The Gambia.

This painting is part of Njogu's kenyeleng series, inspired by the colourful and unusual dress and activities of this women's group in The Gambia. Kenyelengs have a strong belief in the continuity of the family; they play a useful role in self-support, assisting women who lose their children. They are great communicators, skilful in mending strained relationships in the community with the ability to crack jokes and act silly in a jovial and friendly way.

The mirror is meant to repel evil spirits. They are often used in protective amulets worn by children. The symbol on the cloth reflects the kenyeleng love of the family. Two things are important to the kenyeleng - the protection and safety of the family. They try to repel the evil spirits that cause problems in the family, and they put on disguises to confuse the spirits.