Street artists fight COVID-19 with art in Rwanda

Street artists fight COVID-19 with art in Rwanda

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 08:25 am

Street artists in Rwanda are painting the walls in bright colours with an important health message: to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Armed with paints and spray cans, every morning artist Jimmy Rolland decorates walls with his murals.

“My painting is one ways we can stop COVID-19, showing one of the way to stop COVID-19 by wearing a mask, and then staying true to yourself and staying strong,” he says.

Rolland is part of a collective called Kurema which uses art to engage the public and push for social change.

This is the first time the group has painted murals but Rolland already knows how to get public attention.

“This COVID-19 wants attention, you have to see it, so I am using strong colours to attract attention to my artwork, to attract attention to my message to show that people need to see what they should do,” he says.

Rolland’s work is one of nine street art murals that have so far appeared across Kigali.

“This painting is reminding me to wear a mask, it is so colourful you can’t continue walking and you turn to see it,” says local resident Moise Niyogakia.

“When you see it immediately you see this woman with a mask in attractive colours, so in your mind you remember the mask to fight against COVID-19.”