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Art transformed his life

Cassien Tuyisenge is an artist working in the districts of Ngoma and Kirehe, where he creates various decorations using wood and old clothes. This is something he started during Covid-19 and eventually turned it into a profitable job in this period.

This 29-year-old man, originally from the Kirehe District but currently working in the city of Kibungo, began his art career in 2020 after witnessing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people, including himself, as it halted his previous job as a Dj in bars.

Tuyisenge mentioned that during that time, he looked for solutions within himself and realized he had a skill and passion for a craft that could earn him money. Initially, he started making drawings to entertain people, and as he received positive feedback and encouragement to professionalize his work, he took it more seriously.

He said, “I reached a point where I saw that I could stop what I was doing before Covid-19 and continue making decorations using wood. As time went by, people started liking it more and more. I began to see profits and decided to also create new artworks using old materials like clothes, worn-out mats, and various other things.”

Tuyisenge continued to work hard and promote his creations far and wide until many people began recognizing his work, allowing him to expand his offerings and even provide steady employment to four other people who are paid monthly.

Among the decorations he is known for are wooden lamps suitable for living rooms, various wall decorations, flower vases made from old clothes, chairs made from fine wood, and many other items.

Tuyisenge stated that in the more than three years he has been working, he has progressed to creating modern decorations, all of which he designed himself to offer alternatives to expensive imported decorations.

He said, “I am now making wooden podiums for public speaking, which include places to hold papers and water, and they look very appealing.”

Initially, Tuyisenge was earning at least 20,000 Rwandan Francs, but sometimes incurred losses due to his investments. Now, he observes that after paying his employees, he earns over 300,000 Rwandan Francs per month.

Challenges in Making Wooden Decorations

Tuyisenge notes that one of the challenges in his work is the lack of appreciation for wooden decorations, as many people are reluctant to buy them, resulting in unsold stock. He also mentioned the difficulty in obtaining necessary materials such as machines, paints, and other essentials, often finding them expensive, which in turn makes the decorations costly.

Tuyisenge’s primary advice to the youth is not to underestimate any job, as many often refuse to do certain jobs despite not having other work.

He said, “I’ve tried to offer jobs to some youth, but they looked down on my work, thinking it wouldn’t bring them anything. So, I tell them that underestimating a job leads nowhere. The most important thing is to respect the job and work hard at it. Any job can lead to success if done well.”

Currently, this young man is focused on promoting his work, with the goal of establishing a factory for making wooden and old cloth decorations, providing employment to many young people.

Straight out of Twitter