Despite facing significant challenges, Prince Nahimana who was born deaf defied all odds to nurture his passion for art, ultimately creating his latest venture, an art gallery in Kigali for deaf people.
It is not just a creative space but a platform for nurturing talent and providing employment for youths living with disabilities.
Founder of the Kigali Deaf Art Gallery, Prince Mahimana says "We use beads to make portraits, to make pots, lights, that special thing helps us to get clients. We go to different expos, and we use social media, with that, many Rwandans come to buy from us.
I am thinking about creating branches in different districts, that’s my dream, I want to help children with hearing impairment."
I use beads on pots and lights, I also do some paintings, and when I sell them, it gives me personal development, it also helps all the other deaf people here, Aline Uwamahoro, staff at the art gallery said.
Kigali Deaf Art Gallery currently counts 21 deaf girls and boys who are skilled in artwork. They make, handcraft, draw, sculpt, manufacture, and design all kinds of products by using paint, recycled materials, computers, and raw materials. Prince tells Africanews that one of the biggest challenges the gallery faces is over-taxation.
We have communication barriers and there are other disabled people doing business in wheelchairs, a person with disabilities works for fewer hours than a person without disabilities.
The challenge is when we are paying for taxes, we pay the same taxes so it is really hard for us and unfair because we don’t have the same capabilities, Nahimana says
According to RNUD statistics, there are over 70,000 people in Rwanda living with hearing and speech impairment and majority of them earn a living through vocational work like pottery, tailoring, and Art. DianaIriza, Kigali Rwanda