Meet Bankslave, Kenya’s King Of Graffiti Art

Images: L-R Facebook/Instagram Bankslave

In an interview with CNN for the African Voices segment, we meet Bankslave, one of the artists to pilot graffiti art in Kenya.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave


 

Like many artists, Bankslave always knew he had talent when at the age of nine and ten he would scribble on walls and get a proper beating from his mother.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave


 

He grew up in Kibera slums and when in high school, he picked up the art, inspired by the graffiti on Kenyan matatus.

punisher ngong 2

Image: Matwana Matatu Culture


 

His work is a showcase of Nairobi characters. Bankslave says:

I want to give the walls a mouth

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave


 

He spots walls and spaces that are legal especially along highways so as to get traction and spread messages to the world through art.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave


 

He has done many remarkable pieces, from tributes to famous people – both dead and alive, to simple art such as ‘happy birthday’ and even done art through collaborations in Australia, Europe, West and South Africa.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave


 

One such piece is this Lupita one which he did in 2014 and it’s truly outstanding.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave


 

For Bankslave, it’s all about turning a blank canvas or wall into a work of art while spreading messages of peace and paying tribute to heroes across the world.

Bankslave Kenyan grafitti artist

Image: Facebook/ Bankslave


 

Watch his full interview on CNN.


 

You can also follow his work on Facebook and Instagram. While still on artists, check out incredibly awesome Kenyan artists on Instagram you need to check out.