The Stray Bulletin

Arts and culture in East Africa and beyond

An Ode To Endless Beauty April 19, 2010

Published in on Tue 09-03-2010, and The EastAfrican on 05-04-2010

A two-man show currently at Tulifanya Gallery in Kampala unites, for the first time, two previous winners of the coveted ‘Discoveries Young Artists’ Exhibition’ of 2007 and 2009 Ronald ‘Ro’ Odokotho and Yusuf Kiire Ngula respectively.

The artists, whose works are on show from February 20th to March 13th 2010, work exclusively in acrylics.

Untitled by Yusuf Ngula

Born in 1986, Ngula says that from secondary school, he realized that there was a side to him that was “arty”, even though his parents dictated different avenues that would make it easier for their children to succeed in life. It was not by accident but sheer determination, that he pursued his interest in art.

And although circumstances dictated that he pursue a more tenable career, even after graduating from the Makerere Business School, he continued to see art as a “side business.”

As a self-taught artist, his work is different from what we have experienced from formally trained artists. He has cleared up any doubts about his ability by collaborating with a couple of renowned Ugandan contemporary artists liked Paulo Akiiki, Mark Kassi, Ismail Damba, Juuko Hood and Yusuf Ssali – collaborations that undoubtedly helped him hone his craft.

He paints subjects based on the two great influences of modern times; war and television.

“I can’t say my art is based upon African art – in Uganda, someone telling you that?” He shakes his head incredulously. “Except if he is from the sixties. But we have matured; in front of TV, the books we read, from comics and movies we watch, from the language we talk to what we are taught in school. The context applies in my art.”

Read full article here