England hero Maro Itoje launches powerful art exhibition raising awareness of black history inspired by own experiences

6 days ago 5

ENGLAND rugby star Maro Itoje has launched a powerful new art exhibition entitled ‘A History Untold’.

The 26-year-old, who hails from London with Nigerian parents, is lobbying for greater inclusion of black history and black success in the UK national curriculum.

AFP
Maro Itoje is inspiring a new generation on and off the pitch[/caption]
The exhibition will feature work by Steve Ekpenisi, left, and Adelaide Damoah, right

Itoje, who has won 47 caps for England, believes that the inclusion of black history in early learning can help improve understanding and education – while countering racial bias early on.

The flanker’s passion for improving education on black history has led him to present ‘A History Untold’ – celebrating the work of six African and Diaspora artists.

With a theme conceptualised by Itoje and work curated by Lisa Anderson, A History Untold will celebrate and tell the story of significant contributions made by black people over generations.

The works on show will feature the origins of mathematics and jazz – and aims to ‘address the oversimplified history of colonialism in the current system through a post-colonial lens’.

Itoje, who has deservedly been included in Forbes‘ prestigious 30 Under 30 list, said: “Throughout my time in school I learnt very little about Africa and black history and it was only upon leaving formal education that I began to discover the colossal contribution it has had to the world we live in today.

“By celebrating black history and the black contribution to society, A History Untold aims to underline the importance of including more black history on the British national curriculum so young people growing up have a wider and more informed view of the world, breaking down biases that currently exist.”

Spread across two floors, visitors to the Signature African Art gallery in Mayfair will be treated to work by African artists Giggs Kgole, Djakou Kassi Nathalie, Steve Ekpenisi and Damilola Okhoya – as well as an ‘immersive installation’ by British-Ghanaian duo Adelaide Damoah and Peter Adjaye.

While raising awareness, 15 per cent of proceeds from A History Untold will also go towards local and national community initiatives.

Getty
Itoje has won 47 caps for England[/caption]

On what Itoje is doing, Aston Villa and England footballer Tyrone Mings said: “It is difficult in rugby to tackle diversity because as a sport, it’s
definitely not as progressive as football and certainly not as open to
change.

“Maro has demonstrated his social awareness multiple times and I think will go on to be a very key figure across the world of rugby, politics and business.”

The exhibition is set to open on May 20, running until June 19.

Read Entire Article