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Little known artist behind the iconic paintings on Nairobi buildings

In recent years, murals have become a common phenomenon on the streets of Nairobi. In particular, the iconic painting from the Extelecoms house dominated Haile Sellasie Avenue.

However, despite the growing number of iconic paintings in the capital, little is known about the artist behind some of the paintings.

Unknown to many is the artist, Viktart Mwangi, to whom the art is attributed.

Mwangi is a 27-year-old Kenyatta University graduate with a passion for art. The KU graduate attended an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and Design.

Murals on the side of the ExTelecoms building located along Haille Selassie Avenue

Murals on the side of the ExTelecoms building located along Haille Selassie Avenue

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His talent has been recognized globally thanks to his experience leveraged in countries such as Australia, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Mwangi’s global recognition is given to his 2020 artwork of Extelecoms House, one of the greatest works of art in East Africa and Africa.

“His colorful murals are developed from a combination of reality and fantasy designed to stand out on the walls they are painted on,” the Center of Contemporary Artists said on their website.

In addition to street art, the artist also creates murals in residential homes and schools. One of his famous school works is the transformation of the buildings of the St Kizito School for the Deaf in collaboration with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

His outstanding work at the institute drew accolades from CBK chief Patrick Njoroge.

“The murals on Extelcoms House cover all four sides of the base of the building. Painted in bright colors, the murals tell the story of a nation and its dreams for a future.

“Then there’s the great work at Litein School for the Deaf in St Kizito, Kericho. The walls give students visual excitement and motivation. What a transformation! Thank you for making a difference!” she stated.

Mwangi also has a pictorial book – “Shift + Ctr + VIKTRT” which shows some of his work. She claims to draw motivation for her creative work from the impact his work creates.

“I have learned that fatigue is never wasted. That everything you collect counts. I find myself thinking that everything I have learned so far has prepared me for this moment, every time I face an obstacle.

“I took a few steps back and looked at myself. I learned that I am happier doing what I love. My work gives me purpose. It distracts me from reality. Without something to do, I start to collapse,” he said.

A collage image of Viktart Mwangi working on a mural.

A collage image of Viktart Mwangi working on a street mural.

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Viktart Mwangi

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