When the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean nation of Haiti, devastation was reported all over the airs waves worldwide— and hope is the only aid Haitians need at the moment.
While the world joined forces to support and send relief to this hysterical nation, Rwanda too reacted instantly, and the fundraising was held at Heaven Restaurant in Kiyovu. All the proceeds were given to Partners In Health (PIH), an organization that works both in Rwanda and Haiti.
Among the fundraising items are paintings from Rwanda’s young artists. When bought, 50 percent of the money is donated to support the Haitians.
Innocent Nkurunziza, an impressionist painter who works with Ivuka Arts, located in Kacyiru painted on Haiti.
“I started painting about Haiti the moment the news circulated on internet,” Nkurunziza recalls. “In a way, I was relating to the experiences Rwanda went through in the past.”
Displayed are three main paintings explaining; Destruction, Death, and Togetherness.
“These paintings show the spirit of support to the Haiti people,” he said.
The 23 year-old artist believes that there is a big lesson for Rwandans and the entire world to learn from Haiti and that is unity and support towards each other.
The paintings are currently displayed at Heaven Restaurant, and will also be displayed in Gothenborg Sweden in a dual painting and photography exhibition with a well known Swedish photographer, Clara Bodén, in April 2010.
Nkurunziza’s skills are diverse, and he is also a crafts maker. He says his work is related to his daily life experiences. Currently, Nkurunziza is working on a new project dubbed ‘NZIZA Jewelry’; literally translated to mean ‘Greatness.’
Within his community, the artist tutors children and women in handcrafts so that they can earn a living.
“Am very glad that we artists have removed our feet from the crutch peddle to the accelerator; which means the art vehicle has already moved and is heading towards infinity.”
Nkurunziza strongly proclaims the message of ‘Preserving and promoting Rwanda’s culture.’