Guest Author: Wendy Karani
Last year, I found myself at Dagoz after a long hiatus. Excited by the ambience of pure creativity, I was immediately drawn in. It was a Thursday Jam night, and the talent was infectious. For a while, my ears and my feet were jamming oblivious to the surroundings. Only as the stage was set for the next act did I take time to look around.
The small room where music comes to life is covered by Maasai blankets and art: drawings that instantly take you on a journey away from the normal, the regular. I found my eyes wandering hungrily around the walls, searching for more. I still do this.
I asked the guy next to me eagerly if he knew who the artist was: SheepGoat. I wrote it down. I wanted to meet the guy who added such vibrancy to the Dagoz vibe.
His colourful, detailed pieces evidence his ability to scrutinise his surroundings and interpret them beautifully. His art tells stories with strong, confident brushstrokes, its meaning hidden for those who want to see, and can. Rough monochrome backgrounds only make each subject more prominent, the colors more vivid.
On 7 December 2019, Ngene was involved in a car accident, losing his life. It was a loss to Kenya and the world of art.
Everyone I have asked about Ngene has said that he loved everyone. He thought that human beings were gold. He treated everyone with this philosophy, insisting that it is the only way we can live.
“I chose the name SheepGoat mainly based on the qualities of these two animals. When I want to be happy-go-lucky and cheeky I tap into the goat traits, and I tap into the Sheep traits when I want to be calm and together — at peace with all around me.”
May he live long on the walls and in our hearts and dreams