The Fish Speaks!

Ijeweme Odiawa Written by Ijeweme Odiawa · 1 min read >

This Artwork of this fish which had apparently swallowed up a man has always intrigued me since the very first day I stepped into LBS. To make matters even more interesting, the man in the belly of the fish is blindfolded! Aha! There must have been some meaning that the artist wanted us to figure out from this imagery. So I will dedicate this write-up to giving possible interpretations for it. Let’s go!

Interpretation 1 – The Jonah Problem

Men (humans) are like the man in the belly of the fish. God has sent them on a certain task and has given them the tools to carry out those tasks. However, they want to do their own things and go their own way. So what does God do? He sends circumstances and trials their way. As people grapple with these conditions, they are blinded to the fact that these circumstances are nothing more than God guiding them and like the fish, actually carrying them to their place of purpose where their work will be most meaningful

Interpretation 2 – The Information Problem

It is worthy of note that this man is covered with newspaper clippings but is yet blindfolded. The man’s work tools are also in the belly of the fish but are not in his hands where work tools are supposed to be. They are far away from his body, divorced from his person.

Every day, humans are bombarded with more information than they will ever need. Indeed, we have access to all the information we need to live decent lives, but somehow that information does not translate to actual work done. This is because many of us just drift through life, being carried by imaginary forces beyond our control, and not taking advantage of the tools at our disposal. We hear so much but barely do anything. Thus when we are at the end of our lives, we look back and ask ourselves what we spent our lives doing.

I could keep going on and on describing different interpretations of the same image. That is the beauty of art. It is subject to many different interpretations. But what did the artist have in mind?

Seek and ye shall find

Okay, I will confess that I wasn’t actually seeking anything. As I stared at the fish one evening, I turned to my left and behold, there was an actual write-up attempting to explain the artist’s thoughts! Interesting. So I read it and it is given below.


…The man represents us, the belly of the fish represents our problems/challenges and the tools represent available solutions to our problems.

Appropriate tools should be selected and used to solve our problems; but first of all, we have to really find out what our problems are.

To do this, we all have to unfold our blind-folds to see properly

You see! I had the artist’s thoughts. At least to an extent.

What I found interesting was that I had seen this work repeatedly for over 2 months, but this was the first time I actually saw it rendition in words. It had always been there, standing on the wall, waiting for me to notice it! I guess I too have to remove my blind-folds.

Written by Ijeweme Odiawa
I am Ijay Odiawa. The Last Afang Bender. Profile

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