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From the ‘C-Stunner’ to the ‘Black Mamba,’ Kenya’s Cyrus Kabiru Rides Wave of Success with New Creations Made from Scrap

An artist with a mission, Kenya’s Cyrus Kabiru, creates works of beauty from the unwanted. By repurposing the discards of others, he sees himself as preserving aspects of cultural history while also championing sustainability and respect for the environment. Repurposed and reimagined using colorful utensils, wood, wires, bottle caps and other rejected items, the artist says this makes him feel like he’s helping the environment through recycling, as “a warrior of nature.” Giving new life to old things is at the heart of his work, Kabiru says. In February 2020, he opened a visual arts space near Thika, a town northeast of Nairobi, for fellow artists to exhibit work, create and be mentored and inspired. Kabiru plans to continue “giving trash a second chance.” Now, he says, he’s “stitching some new artwork with sticks,” because as new art and artists come onto the scene, he has to “work hard, work smart,” and think outside the box.