No art, no life: Fellows Friday with Cyrus Kabiru

TED Blog

Cyrus Kabiru crafts striking, whimsical, colourful pieces — most famously his one-of-a-kind spectacles, C-STUNNERS — from recycled waste and objects he finds on the streets of Nairobi. In a candid conversation at TED2013, the Kenyan sculptor and painter told us about his journey to becoming an artist … and how he’s struggled to forge a life path uniquely his own.

You’ve said that until recently, your family didn’t know about your art. What do they think you do?

My grandmother is always trying to find me a job. When you visit her, the first thing she’ll tell you is, “If you have an extra job, if you can get a job for my boy here, he needs one.” She doesn’t understand the meaning of art and being an artist.

My mother and father don’t know my art, but when I left Nairobi to come here to TED, they all wanted…

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