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Meet Bankslave, Kenya’s King Of Graffiti Art


In an interview with CNN for the African Voices segment, we meet Bankslave, one of the artists to pilot graffiti art in Kenya.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave

 

Like many artists, Bankslave always knew he had talent when at the age of nine and ten he would scribble on walls and get a proper beating from his mother.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave

 

He grew up in Kibera slums and when in high school, he picked up the art, inspired by the graffiti on Kenyan matatus.

punisher ngong 2

Image: Matwana Matatu Culture

 

His work is a showcase of Nairobi characters. Bankslave says:

I want to give the walls a mouth

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave

 

He spots walls and spaces that are legal especially along highways so as to get traction and spread messages to the world through art.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave

 

He has done many remarkable pieces, from tributes to famous people – both dead and alive, to simple art such as ‘happy birthday’ and even done art through collaborations in Australia, Europe, West and South Africa.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave

 

One such pieces is this Lupita one which he did in 2014 and it’s truly outstanding.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave

 

For Bankslave, it’s all bout turning a blank canvas or wall into a work of art while spreading messages of peace and paying tribute to heroes across the world.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave

 

Watch his full interview on CNN.