Kenyan Street Artist Joins Online Conversation

I recently received a comment on my blog from a Kenyan artist who recently started to blog from his home in East Africa.

Willie Wambugu was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Always fascinated by Matatus (public transport vehicles that play loud music & are often painted with graffiti-like stylz), he finished high school and started painting them. He met designers Hassan, Moha, Jeff and Jaymo.The first three are popular Matatu painters and the last was his teacher. For those that don’t know, according to Wambugu, Matatu art:

…is a rare fusion of Kenyan urban culture and Americas’ hip-hop culture.

In his first post he relays an anecdote about his early fascination with Matutus:

This unique rough art really worked my creative juices because at one time as I can remember in primary school, my English teacher caned me severely for drawing a matatu on the classroom wall.

Nowadays he has decided to go into a more “respectable” vein of art…i.e. easel painting. Though I hope he continues to post Matatu art, street art and some of his own work. Maybe he’ll eventually start posting some of his own street work!

Check out his blog here.

Here are some cool examples of Matatu art via Flickr:

2 responses to “Kenyan Street Artist Joins Online Conversation”

  1. Wonderful to learn about beautiful matatu art and street artists. thanks for writing about willie wambugu and friends. they are amazing and i hope to meet them when i return to Kenya.

  2. my whole family and friends think am mad coz i love mats.when i look at them i think,”the guy who painted that must be talented.” i want to start a matatu business,and i will.love this page.

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