Rafiki Arts – meet the artists

Here are some bios of young artists who are active in Buhoma, Bwindi. If you are interested in any of their work, please contact us, and we will bring you in touch, or you can connect with them via their social media. We are curently also working with our partner organization Photography Inspiring Children in Conservation on creating postcards of some of this artwork that we hope to have availabl for sale soon (including at Bwindi), so stay tuned!

My name is Aine Peterson, 22 years old, an artist doing drawings and paintings. Growing up in Nkwenda Village in Bwindi, Uganda, from a very humble background with many siblings. I grew up with my fellows, drawing simple cartoon-like pen drawings of gorillas and then selling them to tourists who came to see mountain gorillas here in Bwindi Forest. We did that on the main road side. I desired to be a great artist and I got inspiration and motivation from my elder brother who is an artist as well. I could not proceed with art at that time because I wanted to focus on school first. At school, I had a mentality and was convinced I wanted to be a scientist, so I took many classes in Biology, Agriculture & Geography.  After high school in 2019, as I did not have the money to pursue university, I decided to give art a try. So I resumed art lessons and followed my passion and I’m luckily doing art as a hobby as well as hoping to make a living through sales. However, I double as a local tour guide especially more to do with culture. Through learning and trying my best, I am so surprised at what I can pen and pencil down now. I work along with fellow artists selling art along the streets of Buhoma, though it’s so hard for us to make sales here. Please any purchase of my prints or original work will help me pay my tuition fees, as I hope to eventually go to college. Thank You!

Peterson Aine, Artist, Buhoma-Uganda.

Click here to follow him on Facebook.

(click on individual pictures to see larger version)

My name is Rominus  Natumanya. I live in Buhoma-Bwindi, Uganda, and am a 16-year old artist at Rafiki Arts. I also attend boarding school full-time so my school holidays are for creating new art pieces. When I used to sell groundnuts at the market, Mushamba Moses from Rafiki was my good customer, buying nuts from me every day. Once he asked me to place some groundnuts he had purchased in his house. There I found a hidden treasure of his art pieces and my heart was completely taken by their beauty. I asked for some art lessons and Mushamba accepted. I had no more interest in selling groundnuts. Mushamba provided me with art materials and guidance and continues to be my mentor. My goals are to become a university art professor. Then I would like to go to medical school and become a physician. By purchasing my art work, you are helping me to pay my tuition fees to continue going to school. Thank you!

Click here to follow Rominus on Facebook.

A few samples of Rominus’ work (click on each pic to see a larger version)

My name is Isaiah. I am an 18-year old student and conservation artist painting wild animals in the village of Buhoma-Bwindi, Uganda. I do my academic studies in the Bwindi area, and after placing second in my class with high marks, I am entering an advanced level of study. I met Mushamba Moses and joined the Rafiki art group after my father left our family of 8, when we were still very young and I found it difficult to have a settled life. As a member of this group of students and with Mushamba’s mentorship, I have learned and practiced how to paint and draw. Now, when visitors purchase my art, I can support myself and my family, and pay for my school tuition to continue my academic studies.

Click here to follow him on Facebook.

Click on each image to see an enlarged version.

Turyatunga Innocent

I am Turyatunga Innocent,18 years old. I am the artist that was inspired by elder brother.I was born in Butogota where I study art at Butogota Trinity College, and am currently in senior 3 level. I was born in a family of 6 children. Out of the 6, 3 are in school.  My love for art forced me to look for art opportunities, and I find Bwindi impenetrable forest as a big inspiration. So I joined BWINDI ARTS for me to go on with my passioned art.

Innocent Twayeba

My name is Innocent Tayebwa. I’m 15 years old . I am in senior two at Kinkiizi High School. I started to do art when I was in primary school: painting , drawing. I have a dream feeling that I can do sculpture. There are so many reasons as to why I was inspired to do art : art is enjoyful. Art is about thinking critically to create something. I was born art-talented.

Kakuru James

I am Kakuru James.  I am a Ugandan aged 24 years, born in March 1998 in Bwindi. I am a student pursuing a bachelors vocational studies in art and design at Kyambogo university. I grew up in a family of ten members whereby my mom gave birth to twins three times. I, Kato and Peterson, our young brother grew up in an orphanage center called “Bwindi orphans Development Centre [BOCEC], where we used to go for music dance and drama to entertain visitors. Muhangi Augustine [Rasta], a painter and a wood carver, inspired me to love art and to become a conservationist by making art works for sale. I started to make mostly cross-hatching drawings made using pen and pencil and sell it to tourists,  especially those who came for gorilla trekking. This money made out of art helped me to pay schools fees and buy other scholastic materials as well.
I and my fellow artists we shall always work creatively as a team for wildlife conservation and the betterment of the community.

(Click on individual pics to see enlarged version)

My name is Victor Nasasira, 26 years old, and artist.

I was born and raised in the mountainous areas of South Western Uganda-Bwindi, the home of Mountain Gorillas. Growing up, life was difficult, born in a family of 12 a few had a chance to go to school. I dropped out of school after my ordinary level of education according to the Ugandan education system.

After quitting, I felt that I had an art talent within me, so I started working to improve my art skills. And I’ve been doing art since then.  My works range from paintings, drawings, carvings, and sculpture kinds of art.

Having realized that many youths in my home area were struggling and not having a chance to attend school, I started sharing my art knowledge with them and we’ve been working together, helping our families and the village people at large. Our theme has always been Conservation through ART as we live near the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park protected area. The objective of starting an artisan group was to help raise all the artists within Bwindi together under one stewardship program.

We have been selling our Art pieces through our friends who have visited Uganda and witnessed what we do. We intend to have an Etsy Art store with time so we can be able to sell our art pieces more effectively.

A few samples of Victor’s work (click on each pic to see a larger version)


Kato Saddeus:

I am Kato, currently 24 years fo age. I am a recent graduate of the prestigious Michelangelo college of art, I started drawing as a young boy, using traditional materials, such as ink on paper.

Art by Mushamba Moses, the founder of our programs here at Bwindi (click here to learn more about him).

Click on each picture to see an enlarged version

Click here to go back to the main art page