Sindika Dokolo was one of the most important art collectors on the African continent. On Thursday, the entrepreneur died in a car accident at the age of 48.
30. October 2020
One of the most important collectors and patrons of art from Africa, Sindika Dokolo has died in a tragic car accident.
Sindika Dokolo was born in Kinshasa, in former Zaire, today the Democratic Republic of Congo. It held one of the main and most important collections of contemporary African art that had about three thousand works. The son of a Congolese father and a Danish mother, he spent his childhood between Belgium and France.
He studied at the Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague in Paris where he graduated at secondary level and later graduated in Economics, Commerce and Foreign Languages at the Pierre and Marie Curie University. Dokolo was married to businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, eldest daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, president of Angola between 1979 and 2017.
With his foundation, the entrepreneur, who lives in Angola and London, had generously supported the presence of artists from Africa at Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens in 2017 – without him, many of the projects (e.g. the Obelisk by Olu Oguibe) would not have been possible.
Curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, who was part of the artistic management team at Documenta 14, wrote on Instagram about Dokolo’s death: “Thanks to your deep love for the arts and culture of Africa, your stubbornness towards the dominant narrative, your support as a collector and financier of art projects, many of us could even dare do what we are doing!
It was your fierce and provocative utterances on issues of restitution of African arts in Western museums that actually instigated the recent restitution turn. And when no African state, and very few cultural institutions were ready to support the 20+ African artists invited to documenta 14, you were the ONE who mobilized an incredible amount of money to make that happen.”