The colorful and rich artwork of Collin Sekajugo always makes a statement. What’s especially lucky for us is that Collin has had an affinity for making art for helmets, and he has already decorated a number of bicycle and motorcycle helmets. Sekajugo is an artist whose activism (for safer roads) is always clear and yet not overpowering.
Nutcase: Where were you born or where did you grow up and how did that shape you into an artist?
I was born in Masaka, Uganda and grew up between Kampala (Uganda) and Nairobi (Kenya). Although my interests in art could be traced back to my early childhood, when an artist cousin lived with my family, choosing art as a profession started while I lived in Nairobi during my high school days.
Nairobi was a budding hub for regional arts given its geographical locale, and the presence of the international community. Galleries were inescapable on the streets for me whenever I walked through downtown. I think that this influenced me a lot.
Nutcase: What was your biggest obsession when you were, say, 13, and how does that compare with your current obsession(s)?
I was obsessed with drawing faces plus human figures and that has continued to appear in most of my art work today.
Nutcase: What is your goal as an artist?
I always love to create art that is meaningful for my community’s social strife and also for its transformation.
In a real sense I want my art to change society, either directly or indirectly. That’s my purpose for being what I am in the art world today.
Nutcase: How has the helmet design process been thus far and how has it differed from what you anticipated or expected?
Making designs for the Nutcase helmet is quite exciting but also challenging given that I have to reduce my nearly 100 ideas to 1 or 2 specific ones that fit into Nutcase’s values and objectives. I am enjoying the process though, as it gives me the opportunity and the flexibility to question and reinvent myself along the way.
Collin also founded the Ivuka Arts Kigali art center, a space that helped the Rwandan art scene grow and develop. Read more about Collin and Ivuka in this New York Times piece.