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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Inspiring the young through art

Roger Shyaka, 15, had interest in art, but it took him time to get anyone to extend a supporting hand to realise his dream. 

However, the Senior Two student at Kimisange Secondary School kept the hope live. He did not only wait for the right time, but says he kept trying his talent at school.

 “Whenever I looked at what other people in the art industry were doing, I knew that if I am supported, I could also get to that level,” Shayaka said. “I kept praying and working hard.”

He also looked at art work as a potential means through which he could support himself and buy some scholastic materials and other necessities.

One day, Emmanuel Nkuranga visited students at the former Mpoore Pefa orphanage in Kicukiro district. Nkuranga is well known artist who works with Ivuka Arts, an association of highly skilled people in art.

“I knew the day I had waited for had finally come. I was so excited and honored that I was talking to someone I wished to meet and express my interest about joining the art industry,” Shyaka said.

Although Shyaka had the talent, there was need for him to get trained to come-up with quality products that can attract good prices in the market.

With all the determination and interest, it did not take him long before he started producing the very products that his trainer required and expected of him.  

“I decided to use my skills to train other youth and students who I believe had the capacity, talent and interest,” said Nkuranga.

He said that since 2010, he has been giving such free services to various groups of people that also include children heading families, as a way of enabling them to have an income so they could take good care of their families.

When the people he trains become competent, he gives them a chance to come-up with products to compete for the same market.

This, he believes is one of the best ways to further promote production of high quality art products. “I am sure that if I give skills to the children or youth, I am giving them something that they will always benefit from the rest of their lives,” he said. 

Among other people who picked interest from Nkuranga is the British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ben Liewellyn-Jones.

“The art work is good. And it is the reason we have decided that as the British High Commission, we are to display these products in our offices so that even those who visit us can have a look since it looks beautiful,” he said.

He explained that the art has a message and it teaches any person who has never visited Rwanda about the culture.

Source: The New Times

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