The aspect of recycling of eggshells that I collect from eateries, dumpsites and from boiled egg vendors in Kisumu town and its environs to crush and create beautiful mosaic art emphasizes the act of recycling waste to art hence the name Takataka (Swahili for Trash) Treasure. This kind of art is environmentally friendly and affordable since the raw material is locally available. It is also unique and innovative because not so many people have ventured into the same. Most people see this type of art for the very first time in my work. This idea was born of a feeling of venturing into alternative media of artistic production other than the usual almost ordinary painting that artists are known for.
After graduating from Mwangaza Art School Kisumu in 1999, I went ahead to undertake my art production using majorly Oil and Acrylic paints like many other artists do. However, in August 2008, the idea of using alternative media struck my mind and made me try out the eggshell mosaic. Having not seen anybody working in this media before, I did face bits of challenges at the beginning due to financial constraints to buy some other materials that I use for the production and lack of skill too. With trial and error, I came up with my first pieces that were of low quality due to the material combination, I had a problem with marketing and lack of resources too. Amidst all this challenges, I relentlessly pursued my production that I begun by taking a piece of ply wood that was underneath my mattress to support it and converted it to the production surface. The rest as they say is history. The kind of artistic production I embarked on begun drawing attention as the quality improved. I have sold countless pieces in different sizes since inception. This is to both locals and a few foreigners who happen to come by my work.
Takataka treasure art pieces have also drawn the attention of the mainstream media houses that have given me coverage both in print, live and recorded interviews. I did have a live interview with the NTV in 22nd June 2010 just before we launched a joint exhibition with The Lake Basin Artists group at the Village market in Nairobi. After the interview so many people came for the Takataka Treasure art pieces and also bought from the other artists. I also had an opportunity of getting full page coverage by the East African Standard newspaper. Other media coverage I have had includes Nation and Star newspapers and recorded interviews by Citizen, KBC and K24 television stations. This publicity was never in vain, I have had clients making inquiries either to buy or seek permission to use samples of my work to offer lessons or network.
I have exhibited my work in several places, both in Kisumu and at The Village Market Nairobi amongst other places, most memorable being the Maker Faire Africa that was held in Nairobi Kenya in August 2010. During the faire, Takataka Treasure art was awarded a Nakumatt Supermarket shopping voucher for being the stand with the most innovative use of natural material to create art. The publicity my work has got has not been without challenges. There has been a challenge on selling to clients who make inquiries beyond Kisumu where I operate from on terms of payment and delivery of the pieces to clients. This has hampered smooth transaction with international clients who wish to buy via internet.
I have so far trained a few interested individuals in my kind of production, with others whom have got the idea from me indirectly. These people reproduce my work that I have done before. Through the chain of production, Takataka Treasure arts is a source of income for many. I pay for the collection of the Eggshells, ply wood, fabric and glue that are my raw materials. I occasionally get people who purchase my art for resale for a profit. These people are able to access good health, medication, food and education from their earnings. However, this may not be adequate enough.