Local visual artist Abdoul Rwigema on Friday showcased two murals; one depicting a gorilla, another one a ‘slay queen’ through an exhibition titled Amadevize y’Igihugu. The exhibition took place at Plazo Bar&Restaurant, Remera, whose wall contains the two murals. Rwigema said that he opted to focus on the gorilla and a ‘slay queen’ as some of the things that attract tourists to come to Rwanda and leave revenues. Explaining how the girls that people call ‘slay queens’ attract tourists, he said: “We all know that Rwanda is known to have beautiful girls and people call ‘slay queens’ some of those who are celebrities. So, creating this mural, I wanted to emphasize on the foreign money that is brought by tourists due to these girls that some people do not value or just choose to focus on their negative side. When they take pictures at a touristic place and share them on social media, the viewers are compelled to know who they are, where they are found as well as a place they took the pictures from, hence visiting the country.” Rwigema also declared that even when the girls appear in music videos of different local artistes, they help them to sell and be viewed all over the world, compelling someone who wants to know more about them to come and visit Rwanda. In the mural, the artist used different colours, including blue, as the background of the girl. He said they served as calls for the girl’s freedom and for people to know she has potential in her although they might not want to see it. Talking about the ‘gorilla mural” portraying a human-like gorilla holding a cell phone, Rwigema said that signifies that the species attracts and invites tourism to come to Rwanda not only to see it but other interesting things the country lodges. As a muralist, Rwigema still faces some challenges. He said it is still hard to for people to provide walls where he can showcase his murals since most haven’t understood its importance and view it as advertising. “Sometimes, the murals even got erased. The materials are also hard to find in Rwanda which makes them cost much money,” he added. However, Rwigema said there is hope given that small improvements have been made in the visual art industry. Rwigema started doing art when he was in high school. It has since become his source of earning money to make a living and later on, he started doing it professionally. He currently has an artistic working space and can support himself and his family. He has created over 10 murals across the country.