KAMPALA – The 22-year old hopes to become Uganda’s celebrated sketch artist of this generation, as he tells the black man’s story through his paintings. The painter has painted commendable pieces. PML Daily’s Correspondent KASIMBI NELSON EDWARDS caught up with him on Tuesday in Entebbe.
Nsimiye Reuben, a rising sketch artist, is focusing on using the art pencil to tell African stories to the rest of the continents, with efforts to inspire the young people, a task that is soon earning him a fatty piece of meat.
The young artist practices his painting at Entebbe Craft Center, in Entebbe Municipality, the same place where most sketch artists and tailors converge to run their business, this place acts as a market of art pieces and African wares, designed in the African way.
Nsimiye’s interest at first was not in painting sketches, until one his friend, who is a passionate artist, convinced him to join the art profession, then he later joined the arts college.
“My main focus was on becoming a fashion designer, and also a music producer,” he said.
“But one of my friends who is also a painting artist, told me to join the industry. As a person whom I look up to as a senior, I tried out, and now am completely in.”
“That time, I was thinking about how to make in music production, or fashion and design, but I decided to put all that aside because it became more interesting whenever my fingers touched an art pencil”
“I come from a family with a humble background, where making it life one has to toil, so I convinced myself to do what is possible to better my future”
Nsimiye has developed himself, and despite all challenges, he went through, has managed to secure himself a place where he can display his pieces for people to buy. However, he chooses his concepts carefully, if he is to paint.
“Being an African, I usually love to paint pieces that showcase more of our stories, than elsewhere, because there is a place on this planet with a richer history than the African race.”
“Having been told many stories by parents about our race and basing on my experience helps me to generate concepts to paint about”
“Since most of my clients are whites, and few African, am able to make sells, because most of them like Whites wants to have sense of whom the black man is”
“I would love to inspire the young people to take part in this venture; it is profitable, and respectable, rather than folding their palms, saying there are no jobs, forgetting that jobs are in the private sector, rather than in public services.”
“Even to become one of the most recognized artists in the country, and Africa, like Wangechi Mutu of Kenya, Ghanian Sculptor El Anatsui, and Cheri Samba of Congo” he explains.
Sketch artists like Reuben Nsimiye, involved in what is termed to be free hands drawing, producing art pieces usually serves a number of purposes which includes telling the history of a given place, recording developmental ideas for future use.
Uganda as a country has lacked ways of motivating its young population to join this industry, after making it irrelevant, as occasionally president Museveni put it that Scientists should be at the front of any profession, such statements demotivate young people from participating in such ventures, though they are rewarding.
Now, the question is how will the sketch artist be able to motivate his peers to join the business, and yet even those in this industry cry of heavy taxes levied on them, the demotivation from government, where scientists are the only group to take up iron’s share, ahead of others.
“If you work as a group, you can be able to thrive, without government’s assistance, because assistance, always comes with strings a touched,” Nsimiye answers the question.
Nsimiye is working hard to establish his own big gallery, where he can organize exhibitions, in order to market himself beyond borders, which sketch artists like him are fighting for.
“I want to have my own gallery where I can display my pieces for people to see, which will expose beyond, more than I am today,” he says.
The Nommo Gallery, founded and established in 1964 by the 1959 Act of Parliament, a Uganda’s National Art Gallery, which features exhibitions of works of artists by both Uganda and foreign, with its objectives of encouraging and developing creative talents, building up a national collection of Art by prominent Ugandan artists for permanent custody.
However, upon ending the interview, Reuben Nsimiye thanked the media for sparing time to have people like him tell their stories, saying there are more people like him in rural areas, which the media should visit and have their stories to be told.