A year ago a friend of mine asked me if I am willing to donate art for Madaraka 2014 festival. I was not aware of the festival that much but I knew the people behind it was good folks and I wanted to look into it. What I found was a gold mine. An idea of a gold mine, that gives back to the people of Kisumu, Kenya, through art to empowerment of  youth. One Vibe Africa, as its mission states, is a registered Kenyan NGO. It’s mission is  “Through programs in music and art, we inspire Kenyan youth toward a deeper appreciation of culture and tradition, empowering them to develop their own creative potential.” I found the organization to be a link between Africans and African Americans  and the Nation of Kenya and Africa itself. I donated two paintings and promised the founder and CEO Simon Javen Okelo, that I will like to involve the next year.

A year later, Simon called and asked me if I can curate Madaraka Festivals art show. I gladly accepted. I also promised to paint a larger painting of Omena band. As I try to create an art that says a  lot about what One Vibe Africa does, I came across an interesting video of Omena Band, consists of a group of men and women in their 70s and 80s from a community in Kenya, and they have been teaching at One Vibe’s Music & Art program. I automatically glued to the video which moved me. I wanted to capture them the way they play their music. Here is the painting.


Please stop by to Madaraka Festival at EMP to enjoy world class music and a rich art from the nation of Kenya.