Romeo Arius Shingiro is a bright 15-year-old student at Lycée de Kigal. He is in senior four, taking economics and geography as an option. But it is not only his excellent academic performance which makes him stand out, Shingiro is also an extremely talented self-taught artist.
The talented student is an amateur footballer and enjoys singing during his free time. Even so, nothing beats his growing passion for art. He started off in 2003 with his first drawing of a car.
Nobody taught him what to do. Shingiro himself took the initiative of asking his parents to buy him papers and pencils and started drawing.
He first looked up different artists’ work on Google, and soon realised that he was particularly attracted by Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings, especially his many portraits.
From the moment he was exposed to these fascinating portraits, Shingiro started drawing portraits himself; mostly of relatives and friends. He even made a big drawing to celebrate his school’s 40th anniversary by painting the portraits of major players at Lycée de Kigali including the headmaster and the Dean of Students.
Until this day, Shingiro dreams that one day he will be able to travel to see his favourite artist’s paintings in real life.
He aspires to one day become an established and recognised artist by profession.
So far, he has mainly focused on developing his drawing skills. However, he wishes to explore other art forms too, including painting.
He is also lucky enough to have his parents’ full support. Not only do they support him at home where the walls are covered with Shingiro’s drawings, they are also proud to promote their son’s work around town.
The student has a positive outlook on life. Through his art, he wishes to transmit messages of hope. “I want people to know that even though there are many bad things happening in the world right now, such as natural disasters, the world will become a paradise in the future,” reveals young and talented Shingiro.
Valens Mushinzimana, the Dean of Students, admits encouraging the highly gifted student to continue drawing, and to join the Nyundo art school once he finishes high school.
“Romeo is quiet, calm and disciplined. I like the way he balances drawing and academics. Others get lost and forget the academic side of it. Romeo is able to balance it well. In class, he is in class. During his free time, he draws” says Mushinzimana.
He then adds: “I see a bright future in him. If he continues this way, Shingiro will reach very far.” And there is no doubt about that. Shingiro is talented, passionate, and a hard worker. He is among the many talents which makes up Rwanda’s new generation of artists.