It is still a hectic way to life of art in Kigali, mostly because people don’t understand that art can be a full-time job rather than a side hustle.
That is according to Kakizi Jemima a visual artist since 2013.
“Rwandans have a mindset that a person cannot make a living through visual art, which is the main problem. Even though we have a school of art, art is still a long way to go,” she said.
“It might be hard for someone to buy an artwork of Rwf 100,000 when they know that they don’t have enough food for the following three to four days,” supports Kakizi’s fellow artist Neza Shemsa.
Inspired by a Maya Angelou’s quote that goes “Make every effort to change anything you do not like. If you can’t make a change, change the way you have been thinking, you might find a solution” Kakizi Jemima believes that women should take the lead and create methods for showcasing their work rather than relying only on invites to exhibit.
Kakizi decided to come up with an all-female art exhibition to feature her fellow artists and called it “At the Entrance”.
It revolves around the idea of everything having a beginning, as there’s so much to discover when you enter a new room.
As a result, the exhibition aims to provide visibility for Rwandan female artists who are active in contemporary art in Rwanda while also demonstrating how engaging young Rwandan women are through visual artistic practices.
“I know it is a long way to go to change the mindset but everything has a beginning that is why we hope to see the dialogue of women empowerment translate into giving women opportunities and spaces to express their ideas and to continue stimulating conversations that bring change in our community so as to bring change we want to see,” she said.
“At the entrance” exhibition will feature 8 women artists including Ilibagiza Angela, Neza Shemsa, Crista Uwase, Lynka Lydie, Luladey T.Teshome, Ingabire Gretta, Kanyange Louise and the organiser Kakizi Jemima. It will start from 12th and run through 26th February at Kigali Soul Gallery.