Friday, 31 August 2012

Friends, I am sorry that I dont approach you individually. Many of you I don't know personally; you either may came to my exhibitions, or we may have Kenya in common. I do hope you would not mind me writing like this.

MASK supporters and I are doing a SPONSORED walk on 1 September. The challenge is to complete the 15 mile Great WALK of Art that is between central London art galleries (Saatchi Gallery, Royal Academy of Art, Cork Street, National Gallery, Portrait Gallery, British Museum, Royal Opera House, Courtauld Collection, Hayward Gallery, and Tate Modern) and to find a work of art in each that has been influenced by East Africa.

Why. We wish to raise money towards the NATIONAL ART COMPETITION FOR SCHOOLS IN KENYA AND EAST AFRICA COMMUNITY pioneered by MASK. The Competition is to be launched in Nairobi in January 2013 and held at the Saatchi Gallery in London in October 2013. The target is £20,000 (including £4,500 in prizes). “This is an important and worthy project”, says the Director of Education at Saatchi Gallery. Read about MASK, the Competition and success stories below.

Sponsoring. Please sponsor my Walk on and make a difference to young people’s lives, inspire their ambition, motivation and self-esteem. I will be sketching during the Walk and everyone who sponsors me will receive a sketch as a token of appreciation. PLEASE NOTE: your donation qualifies for Gift Aid.

You can also join the Walk and raise a sponsorship from your friends. We start walking at 10:45am at the Saatchi Gallery and meet for drinks at Tate Modern at 5pm. To join, email me on

THANK YOU VERY MUCH IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT! There is no closing date on sponsorship. You can help after 1st September.


NATIONAL ART COMPETITION FOR SCHOOLS IN EAST AFRICA. The NATIONAL ART COMPETITION, the first of its kind, will run across all 15,000+ schools in Kenya and nominated schools in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The request for such competition came from Kenyan schoolteachers. The Competition will attempt to inspire and educate children and their teachers about the importance of creative education, increase the number of young people engaged in visual arts, and of course find new talent! Six prizes will be awarded, worth in total £4,500. Each winning school will receive a year’s supply of art materials worth of £1,000, and each winning young artist will be awarded £500 in cash.

The Competition has strong international support. The final selection of artwork will be exhibited at the Nairobi Art Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery. The Kenyan Minister of Culture, The Hon. W. Ole-Ntimama, will open the show in Nairobi. The UK’s Sunday Telegraph will write about the final show in London. Kenyan press such as the Daily Nation, and the Standard are the media sponsors in Kenya. The Judging Panel is comprised of world-renowned artists and writers, such as Michael Craig-Martin, Tai Schierenberg, Kaye Umansky, Anthony Browne, Jak Katarikawe, and Kivuthi Mbuno.

. There are no areas of everyday life, science or business where a nation’s development is not dependent on the creative skills of its people. Yet, creative education is almost absent in schools in East Africa. As a result, the creative resource of almost 100 million of young people may remain unutilised. According to research, creativity, if not fostered, can diminish from 98% when a child is 5 to 2% by the age of 25! MASK has been providing children with creative education in 20 schools in Kenya. Since it started in 2006, the programme has benefited more than 25,000 young people. Read more on its website,

tb logoJane Enyen, 17. As a result of participating in the MASK programme, Jane is earning money by selling her wildlife paintings to farmers around Lake Naivasha. “I am very happy and I thank teacher John and Madam Alla for introducing MASK in my life, it helped me realize my talents. I am very happy and my parents are happy too."

tb logoJoel Gatua, 21. Before he joined the MASK programme, he did not know that he could paint! Now, he is signed by one of the leading advertising agencies in Kenya, paints murals in restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa, and opened his ‘art gallery’. “Why do I like Art? It helps me to think outside of the box and keeps my mind, spirit and emotions always busy. I feel art is one of the hard working and disciplined-centred developers.”

tb logoBenson Kinyanjui, 17, an orphan, is still at school. He has been with MASK since he was 12. He paints colourful market scenes. Selling them has allowed him to continue with his schooling. I love painting with all my mind. My dream is to study technology engineering and also continue with art because painting is can take my life to my destinations.”


With best,