“I grew up surrounded by a lot of trash,” says Cyrus Kabiru of his childhood. “The biggest dumpsite in Nairobi was right opposite my house. I used to tell my dad, ‘When I grow up I’ll give trash a second chance’. I used to feel like trash also needs a chance to live.”
Taking his inspiration from a story his father tells of breaking his glasses as a child and being told off by his grandmother, Kabiru, now 34, saw an artistic opportunity to use the rubbish.
He says: “For me it was a challenge to make them like real glasses. People used to compare them to masks. But they are not masks. I call them the C-Stunners. C for Cyrus, and stunners because they are stunning.”
His increasing success in the art world has afforded Kabiru the opportunity to travel and to expand his collection of found objects.
He says: “When I go to London, I’ll pick up trash. I always pick up trash from different continents. If I make an artwork with European trash, my work will look newer, so I try to combine old Kenyan trash and new European trash.
“People are now calling me an Afrofuturist. To me, being an Afrofuturist is a mix of creativity from different continents.”
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