Arts in Kenya

Eltayeb Dawelbeit has been in Kenya since the mid-1990s, one of a stream of highly-trained Sudanese artists who graduated from the University of Khartoum’s School of Fine Art and subsequently migrated to Nairobi having heard there was a thriving albeit emerging contemporary art scene here.

Most of the Sudanese emigrant artists arrived first at Paa ya Paa Art Centre having heard of Elimo Njau, the Tanzanian-Kenyan artist and gallery owner who is renowned for having started Kenya’s first indigenous African-owned art gallery in 1965.

He did so with several other Kenyans as well as the Briton who founded Kenyatta University’s Department of Fine Art, Terry Hirst (who’s best known as a brilliant cartoonist).

Eltayeb is one of those who passed through Paa ya Paa, but having special skills in textile design he quickly found a place to share his talents at Kiko Romeo fashions with Scottish designer Ann McCreath.