18 Jan

Upon arrival, I had a meeting at Imigongo Art Center. After the meeting, I took a walk around the establishment and reminisced about my first stopover in 2019When I showed up for the first time, I had an interesting conversation with Charles Asiimwe, the co-founder of the center. Details of my encounter with the brain behind the establishment of the center in question are disclosed in a book titled Memories.

The tour featured in this section took place in 2021. A lot had changed since the first time I dropped by. The first thing I noticed is that Asiimwe and his partner had taken their business to the next level. 

Imigongo Art Center encompasses a coffee shop, an art gallery and a creative studio. When Covid -19 led to the suspension of tourism and travel, Asiimwe's team turned to farming and, ultimately, opened a foodstuff outlet.

As I am writing this, a state-of-the-art accommodation facility has been added to the ever-growing business portfolio. From humble beginnings, Imigongo Art Center is opening up additional revenue streams, creating more jobs and transforming livelihoods in the local community. 

I showed up for the second time when the 2020 Covid-induced, nationwide lockdown was lifted. This time, I rolled up my sleeves and tried my hand at painting. As a matter of fact, one of the most precious pieces of art I own is an Imigongo painting.

Imigongo art originated from the Eastern Province, where Kayonza District is found. It was invented by Prince Kakira in the 18th Century. Over the years, the art evolved to suit the advanced needs of modern designers and architects.     

As mentioned above, this section is created to highlight my memorable tour of Kayonza in 2021. Although my interaction with members of the local communities were restricted by measures put in place to slow down the spread of Covid - 19, I made the most of my stay in this enchanting district.