Artists, Sports professionals and Journalists have recently handed a present to President Paul Kagame which is a magnificent portrait on which the artist has drawn the Rwandan head of State before handing it over to him when they met him last week end during an event dubbed ‘Meet the President’ after pursuing civic trainings known as ‘Itorero’ in separate sessions during the last five months.
The portrait has since drawn different reactions on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram among the most used in Rwanda where different people congratulated the portrait artist for his great drawing job, after showing arguable talent in drawing President Kagame’s picture geniusly after spending over a week sitting on it until he finalized it earlier before the event.
Bwiza.com tried to reach Pascal Bushayija, the portrait designer who made it using all his possible painting skills to learn more about his talent.
Bushayija’s painting skills has been instrumental to represent his country at the international level where he has appeared at different international exhibitions, showcasing different art works which he used to descibe Rwandan’s every day lives in all aspects of life.
Thanks to his cinvincing talent, Bushayija was chosen by the Ministry of Sports and Culture to use his skills, prepare and draw such an amazing portrait for the President, on condition that it should be drawn with sporting and entertaining backgroung.
President Kagame is drawn on the portrait wearing Rwanda National Football team jersey with Number 1 on the shirt front, which is usually worn by goalkeepers, meaning that the artist wanted to label President Kagame as a goalkeeper after he had previously appeared playing in goal during different authorities’ games.
“We found out that Football is obviously the most popular game so far, and we thoought of drawing a football player in the artwork, and we suggested dressing the President in Amavubi jersey, to show that he should be number one before all, and we gave him number 1. That is how we thought how the drawing might have been,” said Bushayija.
On the protrait, President Kagame is drawn in big picture at the forefront to show that he is a leader.
On the right side, Bushayija put drew a picture a number of sportsmen including a footballer and a cyclist who represents the local sports given the progress cyclism has made so far on the continental and international level. he also drew a drummer on the left side in recognition of Rwandan culture.
The portrait was handed to president Kagame by three representatives from each of the civic training graduates, including Cricketer and Guiness World Record breaker Eric Dusingizimana, who was representing local sports pioneers known as Imparirwakubarusha , Rwanda Broacasting Agency’ s Carine Umutoni, who also scooped the 2016 Journalist of te year Award , to represent journalists known as Impamyabigwi at Itorero and Primus Guma Guma Super star winner Butera Knowless who represented artists known as Indangabigwi at Itorero.
Bushayija’s talent in vuisual arts has earned him a lot of money too difficult to remember given how much he earned so far. In 2015 he gave President Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri K. Museveni a portrait during the inaugural Ntare School fundraising ceremony, in Uganda and it was sold Rwf 32 million during the auction while he painted it for Rwf 800 000.
He says he would make the portrait gifted to Kagame for Rwf 1 million or so, should it be a business deal and expressed his excitement after he saw the gift was handed to President Kagame while following the event on his Television at home, having not been able to be in attendance.
“For an important function like meeting the president during which you plan to give a present to a person like president of the republic, i try to do all the best to make it perfect than i used to with the best of my talent to make people feel that i made avaluable art work which i, too, feel proud and excited to see the president receive a president receive a portrait that i made. i really feel happy and motivated with a merited achievement”
Who is Bushayija ?
Born in Rubavu in 1957, Bushayija is a visual artist who graduated in the art field at Nyundo School of Arts between 1973-79 and became an art teacher at the same school between 1981-94.
The father of two children, but free of his deceased wife, now stays in Nyakabanda Sector in Nyarugenge District
He proudly shared his skills with more students who became visual artists thanks to his academic theoretical and practical mentorship.
he feels happy that Rwandans are getting to know the value of locally made products while he says that there people’s houses would be seen decorated with art works from abroad without even catching the meaning they would carry in their art but he now admits the situation has positively changed where people are now decorating with Made in Rwanda art works, which are also considered prior presents between them.
“ A Rwandan would decorate his house with a Chinese art work but the mindset has completely changed at the moment,” he said.
I am really grateful of the value they give an art work, which was an opposite mindset before where they would always think of buying artworks from different countries abroad, it was always shocking me when i entered a house of a Rwandan citizen and see only chiese art works decorated on his house walls. But right now they are now proud to buy locally made art works and buy them excited, we are really progressing.
Bushayija’s every day life relies on his visual arts profession, which earned him a number of chancer of touring different countries around the world taking part in arts exhibition.
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