Ian Banja

Nairobi, Kenya

Ian Banja is a self-taught artist, born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya.


"Through my passion of performing I have developed my passion for painting. My work offers a glimpse of the life of my people, my peers. I try to express their everyday challenges, tussles and hustles, their good and their bad times too. Fascinated by examining them closely, I am drawn to painting their portraits and the situations they find themselves in. Their stories are never-ending, and it is through them I find my inner self.


I take care of my pieces, its structure and details, and try to develop my own technique, my own touch, my own aesthetics."




MASK Awards 2021/22

Artist statement

"I depict what I see. Violence, harassment, daily tussles and hidden struggles of people who find ways to survive it, and to have good times too. I paint to tell how things are."

Exhibition history

Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town, South Africa

Investec Cape Town Art Fair, Cape Town, South Africa

FNB Joburg Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa