Controversial art forms are bound to trigger legal action. However, in Africa, graffiti is mostly synonymous with celebration of culture and heritage. Jeffy Magina, a graffiti artist based at the GoDown Arts Centre, says even though his work is not a regular source of income, he lives for it.

The Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Strathmore University does not limit himself to street art but also works on canvas which is what aesthetes will occasionally buy. “I started doing graffiti from a young age, in primary school. It is a rebellious form of art that stands out as it conveys powerful messages.”

Blackberry, the beast of Rongai, one of the most popular matatus plying the Rongai-Nairobi CBD route. PHOTO| BRIAN CLIFF | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Blackberry, the beast of Rongai, one of the most popular matatus plying the Rongai-Nairobi CBD route. PHOTO| FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mohamed Kartarchand, popular for matatu graffiti, calls his work “moving art”. He runs Moha Grafix company and has been in the industry for over 10 years. According to him, Kenyans appreciate his work which is why most matatu owners are quick to "pimp" their rides as commuters opt for the more artistic vehicles.

The war against graffiti may continue despite positive contributions it makes to businesses or individuals but suffice it to say, this form of art has come of age and is likely here to stay.

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