A fist of green and black, proud and prominent against a stark white background. The image became synonymous with Nigeria’s largest movement against fuel subsidy removal and corrupt government and now this video by Sahara Reporters reveals the man behind the iconic image.
We meet Zakari Ahmadu, the Nigerian teacher who designed the logo for the #OccupyNigeria movement. Ahmadu, a newly wed, was one of the millions of Nigerians who took to the streets to protest the fuel subsidy removal, which was announced on 1 January 2012.
Like many Nigerians, the news shocked and angered him, and he alongside his new bride had gone to Eagle Square in Abuja the next day to join demonstrators protesting against the unpopular policy, which many Nigerians called “callous and insensitive”.
“For our troubles, we got tear gassed,” Ahmadu said in the interview with writer/reporter Kayode Ogundamisi. “I just got married two months ago, so it really angered me that they were trying to hurt me, hurt my new bride.”
Added to Ahmadu’s frustration is the fact that he had lost his mother in 2011 on the dangerous Lokoja/Abuja road, a project that has remained unfinished by government for five years now.
“It really spurred me and angered me even more,” he said.
Ahmadu decided to express his anger through art, designing a logo for the movement after checking it out on facebook. It was then the fist came alive. He explains his choice of the colours green and black.
“The green symbolizes our collective Nigerian spirit and the black symbolizes the darkness that has been overcoming us as a nation,” Ahmadu said.
It isn’t all dark times, the designer said. He noted the message of hope one could decipher from the logo.
“If you notice, the green is more than the black,” and that, the designer said, shows the Nigerian spirit is able to overcome the dark times if the nation banded together.
The logo went viral, used on banners, t-shirts, and on Twitter, Blackberry and Facebook photographs. Ahmadu says he is proud to have contributed in such a significant way to Nigeria’s largest movement.
Check out the video below!