Art celebrates unsung heroes

Sunday February 13 2022
Art pic

Mother and Child, a painting by Niyitegeka. PHOTO by Andrew Kazibwe


Armed with a brush, Jean Damascene Niyitegeka alias Dama’s is arguing the case of unsung heroes. In a solo exhibition in Kigali, Niyitegeka is passing the message how art can be used to recognise remarkeble contributions di erent people are making in the society with  humility and care.

Dubbed Torment and hosted at Kigali’s Indiba Art Space, Niyitegeka literally painted the ups and down people face to be outstanding in the society. With the artist holding a stronger belief  that suffering can be wheeled by the positivity of negativity, the paintings presents personal experience the artist has been subjected to.

The 85cm by 100cm portrait dubbed Joe Henderson, depicts a middle-aged black man playing the Saxophone. 

This is a story of persistence and a flight from pain to victory. The late legendary American jazz musician started by joining the army, then later embarked on music thereby gaining fame as an outstanding jazz icon in the 1960s.

Introducing lifestyle Portraiture, as one of his unique touches, Niyitegeka’s images capture the eye for their intonation. Through Nun, an 85cm by 130cm piece, the portrait is reflective of a religious figure, holding a bible and lit flame while in the deeper moment of intercession. 

The artist finds her as an exemplary selfless figure serving humanity. The eye cant skip noticing the Bob Marley Portrait. The 65cm by 75cm pays tribute to the Jamaican legend who stood out for his use of music for advocacy and unity.


The artist further depicts responsibility, humility and care among humanity through. This is demonstrated in a painting of a young girl carrying her younger brother on the back. This is a typical norm amongst African societies, especially in absence of the parents.

The Rwandan roots are also at heart. Through paints titled Indwanyi Eshatu, and three ancient soldiers holding spears and Rubusisi, an elderly man with the Amasunzu, a renowned ancient hairstyle.

Niyitegeka’s works stand out for his unique styles in painting, which encompass his thick multi-layered painting tactic. Based on his brush style, he is keen on detail and light. One can easily think his works are of oils, but acrylics. Typical about his collection is the dominance of the girl-child and woman figures the artist uses. 

The artist believes the women and girls represent the beauty in evolution. With his craft rooting from as early as seven years, his professional practice kicked o in 2016 following his accomplishment of an Art course. 

The exhibition is a solid foot stamp into positioning him as one of the few phenomenon Artists presenting unique styles and themes.