• May 26, 2024
  • Last Update May 26, 2024 7:22 PM
  • Nairobi

Kericho Street Artist raking in cash from Creative Paintings

Kericho Street Artist raking in cash from Creative Paintings


Wednesday May 8 2024

KNA by Collin Kemoi & Ezra Kipchumba

Meet Polycarp Otieno, popularly known as Pablo by many in Kericho town, an enterprising street artist for the last 28 years when he relocated to Kericho from Nairobi.

The 50-year-old passionate artist with a special gift for transforming waste materials into extraordinary masterpieces after recycling cardboard and creating banners, stamps, painted signage, and posters.

In an exclusive interview with Kenya News Agency, Otieno intimated that this self-initiated venture has for many years enabled him to fend for his family adding that he educated his three children comfortably.

“I make between Ksh.1500 and Ksh.2500 from selling these paintings which are in high demand due to the craft and finesse I apply to them” added OtienoA journey that started in Mathare slums in 1978 with a passion for art is what made Otieno strive to craft his art into a source of livelihood.

Unlike traditional art confined to gallery walls, his pieces that are displayed strategically at the heart of the town invite participation from passers-by, some of whom make stopovers to order unique pieces of paintings.

“Each banner tells an art story, from recycling cardboard and factory waste to creating vehicle mudguards and vehicle banners. Each stamp leaves a mark to his cooperate clients and office clients. And each signpost serves as a beacon of inspiration. My clients return and also refer other customers to me” said Otieno

However, Otieno’s journey as a street artist hasn’t always been smooth he disclosed that like many small business owners, he’s faced his fair share of challenges along the way such as limited resources, unpredictable weather, and the constant struggle to make ends meet.

“I am also mentoring the young people to engage in painting through practical lessons although it’s not for free, I charge them some fee for four months and after that, they proceed to start their businesses,” Otieno said

He called on the jobless youth to join him in the painting and art industry saying the majority of the young people are creative and that will enable them to earn a livelihood instead of waiting for white-collar jobs which are limited.

Otieno’s street art serves as a powerful reminder of the beauty around and a testament to the transformative power of creativity and the profound impact that a single individual can have on their community. Edited by Kibe Mburu


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