Michael Angelo Mwebe: Sixth sense

Art is one thing that continues to fascinate me. Growing up, I wished I had the ability to draw. Well I could draw a few things but they just didn’t come out how I wanted them to. Which is why I like interacting with artists; they have a third eye for everything, a sixth sense they say. Susan Githuku, in her latest book quotes them as ‘Visual Voices.’

Michael Angelo reflects on the lessons that his late father, Expedito Mwebe who was a renown artist  taught him. He appreciates the fact that he allowed him to interact with people from all backgrounds by exposing him to different kinds of schools. He started working with his father at a very young age. Have you seen some of the art work at the Nairobi Serena? Amazing right? Well, that work is all thanks to Michael and his father.

Michael's father with African Heritage House Founder, Alan Donovan. Photo credit: African Heritage House
Michael’s father with African Heritage House Founder, Alan Donovan.
Photo credit: African Heritage House

He believes in authentic African fashion. ‘Not everything coloured is African,’ he notes. Michael says that he considers everything as a piece of art. He can draw, carve and paint literally everything. Before coming up with a piece of art, he first visualises using a sketch. The Strathmore law School, Kampala Serena and Tangaza college main chapel also hosts some of his work.

I was impressed by the photos of his work that he showed me. Photos dated as far back as the 1980s depicting his father and him at work and crafting pieces of art in people’s homes, entertainment places and restaurants. How can two people be so talented?

Michael at work
Michael at work

Not everyone has the privilege of being born in an artistic family like him which is why he offers training to young people to nurture their talent. ‘Sometimes all people need is exposure to opportunity. I am passionate about what I do which is why I want my legacy to live in the people I empower,’ he explains.

Nature panel
Nature panel

Art exhibitions are also important to those who are interested in art. He encourages upcoming artists to use these platforms to network so that they can get people to train them. ‘Dusit in Westlands on Riverside Drive is one of the locations where some of these exhibitions take place during the weekend,’ he points out.

‘Considering the fact that I constantly experiment different ideas, my working techniques are multiple. I also read a lot which allows me to travel in the form of words,’ he laughs. His message to everyone is that they should follow their dreams and discover their talents early in life. They shouldn’t be afraid to live with authenticity.

During an art exhibition
During an art exhibition

“As practice makes perfect, I cannot but make progress; each drawing one makes, each study one paints, is a step forward.” -Vincent van Gogh

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