Meet Kerosh (Part II)

So as earlier promised this is part II of the conversation I had with Kerosh. If you did not read part I of our conversation.

WAI: What was the turning point in your journey towards becoming a Street Artist? I mean when everything changed.

Kerosh: It was a couple of months before I cleared High School. Someone told me about an event called Words and Pictures (WAPI) at British Council. He showed me pictures of guys doing graffiti and gave me details. 

So Graffiti artists have something they call the Writers bench where they meet and discuss projects and share ideas and stuff. So I went for the Writers bench on a Thursday for an event they were planning for that coming Saturday. I learnt about the limitations they had with paint and decided I would go to watch this time round, even though I really wanted to participate.

When the actual day came it was an amazing experience for me. It was a proper Hip hop event and all the great music I like and was not regular on the radio was played there as people worked on their graffiti pieces. I was like Weh! where have I been, you mean I have been missing this all this while? The vibe there was also so good. People from different neighborhoods met and clicked so well.

That same day I went to the super market and bought myself spray paint and started trying out stuff by myself. Most of it was bad so I would go back to those graffiti artists I met at WAPI and they would guide me on what I should have done. Most of what I learnt is from them and not just graffiti skills but life skills too. I learnt humility and patience from them they were the most humble and patient people I knew. Most of the projects I do nowadays are a way of saying thank you for what they taught me.

These are some of the pieces that welcome you as you walk into Nairobi Railways Museum

WAI: What projects are you currently working on?

Kerosh: I initiated the Street Diaries Collective. There is also another project we do annually  in Korogosho known as Talking walls which I also coordinate. So when we have resources we go and bless these people with Art.

There's a documentary coming out soon too that has been in the pipeline for around a year and a half now. The documentary has been growing rapidly because every time the lady in charge comes to the country there's always a lot of content accumulated.

WAI: Do you feel like people have embraced Graffiti Art from the time you started to date?

Kerosh: Aah! there has been a growth, the other thing is that, graffiti is just graffiti. It is not done to be embraced in the first place that's why people do it illegally. It's a person who feels they have something to say to the world, that they must say whether you like it or not.

There's a quote I read somewhere from a big time graffiti artist  called Banksy. He said "Art is meant to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable"

So for graffiti artists to come up with a piece on the streets many things have to be put into consideration. First they should be willing to spend their money to buy paints. They have to go to the streets and check whatever risk it takes, then put up an artwork and leave without being paid or probably even without being known.

It takes a certain kind of mind, then this guy does this again and again and again. So he may use all his resources with nothing in return because he wanted to do it. Keeping in mind some people will  not appreciate it and instead will call it illegal.

WAI: Do you have a big dream with your artform, something you would like to achieve in the future?

Kerosh: My dream is to have spaces where guys who want to paint on walls can come and do that. The reason I don't do a lot of street is because my artworks are intense and need a  lot of time.

 The streets don't give you a lot of time. So for us having this wall over here (The wall leading to the art studio at the Railways Museum). I can put up an art work in 3 days at my own pace and push my skill to the furthest it can go.

You cannot get that luxury in the streets. That's why I really want to create spaces like this. Places where when you feel inspired to do a piece you just go to do it without thinking about being asked questions. I also mentor and I really want to see the upcoming artists succeed in their craft.

I hope you have learnt a thing or two from the conversation Kerosh and I had. I know I learnt a lot. If you want to interact with Kerosh you can reach him through his email You could also follow him on Social Media keroshgraff on instagram and Kerosh Kiruri on facebook.

AA(Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya


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