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Meet Collin Sekajugo, the Multi-Disciplinary Artist Using Art to Transform Lives

In 2007 after traveling around Eastern and Southern Africa on a series of study tours Collin Sekajugo returned to Rwanda with a vision of “Using Art to Change Lives”. This mission led him to open the first visual arts space in Kigali under the name Ivuka.

Inspired by the success of Ivuka and eager to extend this vision of using arts to catalyze change in his father’s birthplace, Masaka, Uganda, this self-taught artist expanded his scope to the village of Ndegeya. In 2010 Sekajugo started transforming the village into an arts destination under an initiative that he named Ndegeya Foundation.

Sekajugo's own artwork reflects on his social conscience, highlighting the link between art and community in Africa. Sekajugo has travelled extensively in Africa, Europe and North America, participating in international artists' conferences, workshops and residencies through which he is quickly gaining international name recognition.

On his style of Art

I’m a multidisciplinary artist. My Art involves a great deal of experimentation through design, painting, photography and mixed media on canvas, installation and art performance. The mixture of all these mediums embodies my desire to investigate what I consider that most crucial aspect of life - identity; hence carving out my personal style that I fondly refer to as Sekaidentism.

Why Choose Art

I’m one of kind that always likes to challenge myself as a creative. And given my passion for community, I always wanted to use art as catalyst for social transformation through engaging the public in various conversations surrounding the identity versus community development. And for me to achieve this, I have always had to explore different forms of interactive art that my target groups can identify with.

My affinity for art is rooted in my high school days especially when I lived in Nairobi. The circumstances that surrounded my teenage dragged me into seeking self-worth and importance in society.

I guess most African youth can relate to a story of any child who lost his or her parents at a young age; regardless of how they passed or what they may have left behind for you. If I may say the least, nothing in life comes at no cost. Essentially there’s no such a thing like free lunch. You have got to work hard and work smart to always hit those targets and eventually achieve your golden dream. I chose art to help me discover and uplift myself and others. And most importantly to use my artistic skills to develop my community.

Why Some Artists get to sell more pieces than others?

That’s a complex question (smiles)! There are many factors that come with selling art. First off, artists have differing ambitions and life goals. Some artists are in art simply to survive or make a living while others are there to push boundaries and create change. Some are doing it to set or break records while others are doing art to achieve all the aforementioned. Having said that, our talents, aptitude, expertise and creative drive vary a lot so are our income generating abilities.

Collin Sekajugo has also been named the recipient of the Human Rights Award 2019 for his "outstanding and brave creative works that have captured contemporary human rights concerns".

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