“It takes a lot of strength and commitment for one to establish themselves afresh after being taken away from everything that they knew.” Says Rev. Wayne Onkphra Wells a Barbadian artist, Spiritual leader and human rights advocate.
Reverand Wells has established himself through his art work, a passion he uses to convey his messages of love, compassion, growth and strength drawing inspiration from the life he and his predecessors have had to endure since the trans- Atlantic slave trade era.
Born in 1955, on a beautiful island called Trinidad, Chief Wayne was inspired to pursue the world of art by his father who he describes as an all-round artist.
“Trinidad exudes a sense of spontaneity imploring limitless possibilities.” He says.
“Music, and other forms of art have always been the mediums our ancestors have used to create a separate identity from that of their slave masters.” Rev. Wells continues.
He adds that in the 20th Century when the colonial system put a ban on skin drums in the Caribbean in an effort to suppress aspects of carnival that were considered offensive, our ancestors in Trinidad and Tobago had brought with them an art of iron smelting through which they invented a musical instrument called the steel pan. This instrument was used as a form of resistance towards the colonial system.
Even in a foreign land, our enslaved ancestors used art as a way of holding on to who they used to be and ultimately creating a distinct identity from their colonial masters.
Reverand wells, employs his artistic skills to directly convey the needs of the people, ultimately serving his main vision of building bridges between the Diaspora and Africa for social and economic development.
As a chief, Reverand Wayne believes that he was chosen by his ancestors to serve a higher purpose hence acting as an instrument in creating institutional linkages for the empowerment and advancement of the Pan African Community.
Chief Wayne Onkphra Wells is a member of the Barbados Reparations committee and the chairman Pan African Coalition of Organizations.
From 1983, he has stood within the vanguard of crafting the foundations for black History Month. Today in Barbados, black history month is embraced by ninety percent of primary and secondary schools and still growing.
Rev. wells is also the CEO of the Bajan Artforms studio and gallery where he manages the artistic creations of Barbadian Caribbean and African Artists along with the musical band Onkphra and Lion soul.
Today, countless people across the globe are using art as a medium to tell their stories and channel their pain into life changing pieces. AIDO celebrates artists who have continuously told the African story through their creative works.
Chief Wayne Wells is a member of the Global African Diaspora Kingdom, a pan African organization and he is also AIDO country representative in Barbados.
The Chief will lead the Barbados delegation to London for AIDOs November 25th Annual Gala Dinner and Exhibition.