If you’re a regular in Nairobi and unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably seen some vibrant paintings and murals in public spaces that probably brightened up your day.
Two of the most popular giant murals with Nairobians on social media can be seen at Kilome Road and at the Alliance Francaise.
The initiative dubbed A COLOURFUL CONNECTION is an ambitious art exhibition between French street artists from Nantes and a selection of Kenyan artists.
The cross-cultural exchange was organised by Kenyan start-up enterprise Switch-A-Roo founded by social entrepreneur Hephzibah Kisia.
Three artistes from the French Collective ‘Street Arts Sans Frontiers’ collaborated with Kenyan artist Naitiemu. She is a freelance visual artist and civil engineering graduand who can be found on Twitter via @teshinyanjom.
According to Naitemu, the one-month long initiative wasn’t easy because they had no sponsors and it was self-funded.
Seeing as the project is aimed at fostering a sense of belonging to the community, the artists involved members of the community, including children from orphanages in Nairobi’s slum areas such as Kibera, Mathare, and Kawangware.
“It was not easy doing this project because we had no sponsors, we now need capital for its sustainability. Kindly help. this is to bring hope and a sense of belonging to the community,” tweeted Naitiemu.
“We paid for the permit. Which I have problems with also. When we look at our west African countries, art is embraced so much, no hustle. It was very challenging to carry out this project because of all the procedures required.”
The visual artist also dismissed claims from some netizens that the project was promoting homosexuality after they beautified stairways in the Nairobi CBD with colours slightly similar to those used by the LGBT+ community.
“This project was about using simple colors to bring hope to the community. simple because we involved the community, esp children in the creation process, and color because the vibrancy subconsciously brings joy and happiness to the mind.”
Check out the photos below. Definitely better than those “Flossin Mauwano” graffiti nonsense.
At Alliance Francaise
At Kilome Road in the Nairobi CBD.
In Jamhuri estate
And last but not least, the stairway to heaven that was made unnecessarily controversial by allegations of promoting LGBT+.