This post was initially going to be just a catch up with a friend, shared with you. We spent an afternoon with Ngene Mwaura (Sheepgoat) at Dagoz Bar in Dagoretti Corner, one of the many places where he’d bring the music to life with his magical style of painting.
On the evening of Saturday 7th December 2019, Ngene was hit by a car in Nairobi and fatally injured. It came as a shock to the entire community, ourselves included. Our condolences and heartfelt wishes go out to Ngene’s family and the many friends he left behind. He will be sorely missed.
Everywhere Ngene went, his yellow backpack went with him. It was his portable studio and so much more. We decided to document it with him one day, to share with the community the thoughts of someone who made us smile everywhere he went.
“As I continue my journey to find truthfulness, I move through different terrain, an ever-changing climate around me, and an array of mediums. I look for greener pastures in hopes to replenish and feed my soul. I head toward a point even when I see no familiarity. I experience a place where strange and ficticious passions trump logic, a world that is constantly moving around me. As I paint I move through surfaces, textures, colors, and a vast array of unconscious senses. As a result an unconscious knowledge reveals itself even though I’m not seeking it.
I do not carry with me a specific agenda. I take my culture, life experiences and my ever changing environment in hopes I address what is present and relevant. Like a herdsmen learning the ways of the wild through stories and experiences, I experience each day as a new task. The blend of colors may suggest the different destinations and seasons – is there a soul color? Love, beauty, poetic idioms help me arrive to my suggestive ideas.
Step back; there is a panorama of thoughts, ideas, love, and journeys. If you look closely you can hear what I have to say – get closer to what I’m saying. I am just a messenger travelling through uncharted terrain. I find what I find. Deal with what it is.”
“These are two pans that I just bought in Dagoretti. They’re really cool, I think I might make lampshades from them.”
“I keep the jacket in there just in case it rains, along with the hat. It’s actually a girls jacket but it fits me really well so who cares?”
“I have pieces of paper that I keep with me that aren’t very big, so I use them whenever I have an idea.”
“Paint pens…paint pens…paint pens, I carry lots of these, they’re expensive but a great investment.”
“I bought this notebook in Tanzania by the Kilimanjaro border, we went there and I didn’t have anything to sketch on, so this cost me 4000 Tanzanian Shillings, which freaked me out but fortunately turned out to be about 200KSh ($2).”
“A friend of mine gave me this copy of Yummy magazine. It has a lot of good inspiration and colours that I use for my work.”
“This t-shirt is designed by a guy called Musa from Bongosawa.”
“The keys to my studio, with a custom, lasercut, acrylic keyring.”
“This is my art house. I sketch on my iPad with the stylus, but I left the charger at home. I do a lot of my art on here now, and it comes with me everywhere.”
“The Patagonia bag…I love it. I know they have a sustainability policy and can repair your bag, so I’ll definitely do that when it needs it. I’ve customised it too.”
“Top tip: I put coffee on my new white earphones to make them look aged, so they don’t get stolen.”