Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Love with Africa

Paa ya Paa are organizing an exhibition by the above name currently on going. I had a chance to attend the opening ceremony because of what I assist in co-editing.

Paa ya Paa is an exhibition space which is located on your way to Kiambu (off Kiambu road) on your way to Windsor. What makes this place so iconic is that it is the first exhibition gallery in town first situated in Nairobi town but taken to its current place due to exorbitant rents in the city.

The director is Elimo Njau is an accomplish artist in his own right having sketched the Muranga Anglican Cathedral in 1956 (During the Colonial times!) and having taught at Makerere University immediately after graduating there.
His work at the cathedral has been resembled to that in Sistine chapel in Rome which then equates him to Michelangelo

That said he is a very humble and down to earth man and the exhibition space has NOT been so lucky. It was reduced a time back by Fire which let the walls of the exhibition space so dynamic such that the phrase below was used; 

“If you want to create exhibition spaces as dynamic and exciting as the new galleries at Paa ya Paa, it could be a painful process.
For first you have to burn your house down”. - Frank Whalley (Columnist with Eastandard)

That said the exhibition at hand ‘In love with Africa’ had been influenced by young personalities Nuru Bahati and Boyd Oyier who organize events for the gallery and was staged to honour the 4th commandment. 
The exhibiting artist is a young Ugandan Artist Kayiira Mamartyn (Owentebbe) who has done some sketches most notable of founding Presidents Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) and Julius Nyerere (Tanzania). Also on the gallery is a portrait of Yoweri Museveni (in his typical cow boy hat). In fact the Ugandan ambassador to Kenya was the special guest who opened the exhibition.
Exhibition Poster
About the exhibition space (Paa ya Paa), it is currently being innovated thanks to friends of paa ya paa. Some of this hail as far as South America, Coastal Rica and America (USA). Not to be let behind we have Kenyans, a Kikuyu businessman has sponsored the replacement of the current roof. 

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