The beautiful African woman

Sunday March 12 2023
Woman art

The Exhibition explores the beauty Women hold, and the pressure present as regards physical appearance, Photo; Andrew I. Kazibwe


Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but power of African women is always dominating in real life. This was the message an exhibition hosted by Kigali’s Indiba Art Space was putting across.

Romeo Niyigena, 24, uses his brush and paint to pass the message of beauty to exploit his expertise. Dubbed The Obsession, the exhibition work introduces one to a feel of beauty in a collection of 62 paintings on Canvas.

The portraits of young African women display different forms of beauty on the continent. But, looking closely to his craft , through his realistic art style, the artist stands out first for the whole concept of the elevation he wishes for the African woman:

“Gone are the days when women were denied education thinking that they were helpless,” he states.

Of different skin complexions, and various hairstyles, these are complimented by unique dressing, head wraps and jewellery ornaments, like earrings, necklaces and flowers that some wear.

The mix media acrylic paintings further incorporate the artist’s use of newspapers used in designing the portraits’ backgrounds.


Besides the Artistic feel of elevating his portraits to direct the eye towards the real image of focus, Niyigena uses recycled newspapers due to society’s myth to reality there is about reading.

The statement

“See they state that to hide something from an African, put it into writing,” he recalls the statement. This speaks to his entire exhibition theme, since it quotations public on the rush, urge, growing culture and urgency around visual appeal that society has long imposed upon women.

Based upon a statement that ‘Women’s beauty is in their spirit and heart,’ the 2018 graduate of Nyundo School of Art believes that women hold more potential beyond their looks.

“Today more women are educated, and taking over potential positions, which emulates could, beyond just appearances,” he states.

Images of plant life, and vegetation to complement the portraits’ backgrounds.

These represent the strong connection between humanity and external nature. From the texture, the artist uses thick similarly embossed outwards make, which adds more life to the images.


Attaining this texture is from his recycling tactic of dry paints off his paint plate, which he scraps, mixes with fresh paint, and incorporates onto the canvas.

With the portraits depicting image paints of brush strokes to emerge with images of real women in life, most of them were got from the Internet, while very few were from Rwanda since those approached for consent in using their images were so uneasy about it.

“Maybe if you pay them, but most didn’t allow, yet I didn’t have money to offer,” he states,

“I only opted for the certificate of authenticity, which they could acquire and own,” he explains.

As shared across several Artists, the major pending challenge Niyigena faces is the high cost of the acquisition of paints and tools locally, where most have to be imported through Uganda.