In our series of letters from African journalists, Ismail Einashe shines a light on the often-overlooked artistic talent coming from the east of the continent.
For many years, the cultural spotlight in Africa has seemed to be stubbornly focused on the west or south of the continent rather than East Africa.
And yet from Sudan and Ethiopia to Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, this large, ancient and multifaceted region is brimming with unique histories, peoples and stories.
Much of this cultural verve is centred on Kenya’s capital Nairobi, which has emerged as a creative hub.
The city boasts the annual East African Art Auction, the largest in the region that has taken place since 2013. This auction has put the city on the contemporary art map in Africa despite stiff competition from Cape Town and Lagos.
Nairobi is also an anchor for those fleeing conflict across the region. In the process they have created one of the continent’s most exciting art scenes.
One such person is the Sudanese artist Eltayeb Dawelbait, who took refuge in the city after fleeing the authoritarian regime of Omar al-Bashir and a hostile environment for artistic expression in Sudan. – BBC.