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BankSlave - Victim Of The Capitalist System

Volume 12, Issue 2  | 
Published 03/10/2015
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One is immediately fascinated when one hears the name ‘Bankslave’ and wonders what it means. ‘Bankslave’ is made up of two words ‘Bank’ and ‘Slave’. According to Kevin Bankslave (as he is formally known), ‘Bank’ signifies the search for money and ‘Slave’ refers to the system of exploitation under which we all work. Kevin sees his identity as a victim of the capitalist system where the search for money is the do all and be all of one’s life.

Bankslave’s early education was at Olympic Primary School in Kibera, Nairobi and at the Kabaa Mixed Day Secondary School in Eastern Province.

After school he took informal art classes where he met other artists who encouraged him to pursue art as a full time profession. He soon joined Buruburu Fine Arts (BIFA) but could not complete the course due to financial constraints. His father also essentially did not think that doing ‘Art’ amounted to a career and was not supportive of Bankslave’s ventures. However fortunately he had the moral and emotional support of his mother who egged him on.

Soon after leaving BIFA he started his own business. His first participation in a public event was at WaPI (Words and Pictures) in 2009. Bankslave specialises in portraits and prefers themes that will inspire communities to better their lot. But he also does commercial work to make ends meet.

He has painted murals at the Godown Art Centre, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and the United Nations as part of the ‘Spray for Change’ campaign.

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