Kigali’s Indiba celebrating rebirth in post-Covid society

Friday December 03 2021
"Love in the Memories", a painting by Willy Karekezi.

"Love in the Memories", a painting by Willy Karekezi.


From the time the global pandemic brought to a halt all social public events, life is slowly resuming normalcy. In this regard, Kigali’s Indiba Art Space has a platform bringing together various art styles for creatives.

They recently had an exhibition dubbed Local Motif Phase 1, a collection of five Rwandan artists, all sharing canvas, paint, and the brush as the common language to transport audiences across various aspects of life.

Under the theme ‘See me as I am,’ the exhibition comprised works created during the lockdown. Images, adorning the three-room exhibition area lead audiences to ponder about life, creativity, and beauty.

Eustache Usabimana’s semi-abstract works depict beauty. He ornaments the human body form with flowery intonation to engender emotion and mood. One of his paintings titled Hidden Treasure is a portrait of a woman removing a facemask, her uncovered face depicting more hidden beauty.

Crowned princesses

In one of his untitled paintings, Usabimana has a graciously ornamented lady, who also has her facemask on, that nonetheless reflects the beauty beneath, even amidst the Covid-19 uncertainty.


Willy Karekezi shares a similar approach, for his semi-abstracts. However, his have finishing touches of flowery designs. For instance, Love in Memories is of two women posing. With staid, sad faces, one, nonetheless, passionately holds the other’s head, to the chest, like one consoling a friend.

"Feelings 2", a painting by Moses Izabiriza.

"Feelings 2", a painting by Moses Izabiriza.

Jemima Kakizi’ s work revolves around female body forms, richly adorned with flowers and bold physiques.

One of her pieces titled Archive of Experiences is of a chubby black woman, halfway dressed. Her beauty is complemented by the colourful butterflies that surround her, while one of her hands proudly supports a crown on her head.

The exhibition also features Isaac Irumva, an oil-on-canvas painter, whose semi-abstract works emulate emotion. He paints figurative images, which describes human moods and what the eyes expose of human feelings.

Moses Izabiriza, too, presents portraits on canvas works of a semi-abstract take. Dubbed Feelings 1, 2, 3, and 4, Izabiriza’s painting style uses symbolic brush strokes of human facial expressions.

Images of women are typical and shared by all artists since women express emotions, feelings, and beauty much more readily than males.

Fleeting moments

Also, the close bond between humans and other creations like flowers, trees, and birds are captured through most paintings. As the lockdown took its toll, and people were forced into isolation and social distancing, it was with nature that they freely bonded.

A consequence, the works show an explosion of beauty through nature’s revival and reunion.

For these, multiple colour tones are a shared aspect of the artists to express their subjects.

This exhibition is a beautification of what humanity shares even in the midst of trying times like the pandemic.

Human beauty in the form of emotion, expression and feelings, shines forth as they seek solutions to crises. The underlying theme is that they bring out the unseen, undescribable aspects that even fleeting moments bring on upon creation.