Little-known artist behind iconic paintings on Nairobi buildings

Over the past few years, murals have become a common sight on the streets of Nairobi. In particular, the emblematic painting of the Extelecoms house dominated Haile Sellasie Avenue.

However, despite the growing number of iconic paintings in the capital, little is known about the artist behind certain paintings.

Unknown to many is the artist, Viktart Mwangi, who is credited with the artistry.

Mwangi is a 27-year-old Kenyatta University graduate with a passion for art. The KU graduate studied fine arts and design.

Murals on the side of the ExTelecoms building located along Avenue Haille Selassie

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His talent has been recognized around the world, with his expertise being harnessed in countries such as Australia, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Mwangi’s global recognition is attributed to his 2020 artwork from Maison Extelecoms, one of the greatest artworks in East Africa and Africa.

“His colorful murals are developed from a combination of reality and fantasy designed to stand out in the walls on which they are painted,” the Center of Contemporary Artists said on its website.

In addition to street art, the artist also produces murals in residences and schools. One of his famous school works is the transformation of the buildings of St Kizito School for the Deaf in collaboration with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

His exceptional work within the institution was hailed by CBK boss Patrick Njoroge.

“Extelcoms House murals cover all four sides of the base of the building. Painted in vibrant colors, the murals tell the story of a nation and its dreams for the future.

“Then there is the superb work at St Kizito Litein School for the Deaf, Kericho. The walls give visual excitement and motivation to the students. What a transformation! Thank you for making a difference!” he stated.

Mwangi also has an illustrated book – “Shift + Ctr + VIKTRT” which features some of his works. He states that he derives his motivation for his creative work from the impact his work creates.

“I’ve learned that the effort is never wasted. That everything you pick up counts. I find myself thinking that everything I’ve learned so far has prepared me for this moment, every time I am facing an obstacle.

“I took a step back and looked at myself. I learned that I am happiest doing what I love. My work gives me purpose. It distracts me from reality. In the absence of something thing to do, I’m starting to crack,” he said.

A collage image of Viktart Mwangi working on a mural.

A collage image of Viktart Mwangi working on a street mural.

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Viktar Mwangi

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