BY Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted 30 October 2019)
Eliud Kipchoge inspired an entire nation as well as the rest of the world when he broke the world record, running 26.2-miles in Vienna, Austria, in less than two hours or 126.96.36.199 minutes.
The epic run of a man renowned for being ‘the world’s finest marathoner’ will go down in history. One place it will be especially remembered is the Eastlands suburb of Gomongo.
That’s the spot where two Graffiti artists found a brick wall that wasn’t cluttered with political posters or painted adverts for this and that. It is right nearby the home of Tony Blair Eshikumo aka Daddo, one of the two Railway Museum-based artists who took on the task of immortalizing Kipchoge in Eastlands with their graffiti art.
The other graffiti expert is Brian Masasia aka Msala, one of trio of so-called ‘second-generation’ graffiti artists known as BSQ. That’s an acronym short for ‘Bomb Squad’ because they used to ‘invade’ sundry spaces where they would create their graffiti art.
That is no longer necessary since they booked a whole railway car behind the Railway Museum where they set up their artists’ studio.
Also at Railway Museum is Patrick Mukabi’s Dust Depo Studio where Msale met up with Kaymist and Bebuto Thufu, and eventually formed BSQ. But all three artists have independent lives, which is how Msale linked up with the younger graffiti artist Daddo who had scouted out the space in Gomongo and invited his elder to join him.
“BSQ are who I’d call Nairobi’s second generation graffiti artists,” says Daddo who completed the Kipchoge mural less than a week after his historical run.
“The first generation are artists like Bankslave, Swift, Smoki, and Uhuru B who call themselves ‘Spray Uzi,” he adds. “I’m one of the third generation along with artists like Mutua and Ebrah. And now there’s a fourth generation coming up,” says Daddo pointing to the Railway Museum’s long brick wall where a number of young artists are arriving to participate in BSQ’s ‘Rangi za East’ which started October 30th and runs through November 3rd.
Daddo is also taking part in Rangi za East, having reserved one brick panel to create his own original graffiti design. He says BSQ organized the event especially so that the next generation of graffiti artists would have a chance to learn from their elders.
“That is how I learned,” he says. “I had always loved to draw, but it wasn’t until I met Smoki who advised me to go to PAWA254 where I would meet the pioneers in graffiti art. That was in 2017,” he adds.