Contributor: Muse Origins

To me, the strongest and most inspiring artwork are those that tell the real truth. Artists that speak up through their works about the facts of their society – whether the good or the bad, are truely inspiring and impactful mainly because they do a brave thing.

Michael Soi is such an artist. The Kenyan lives and works in Nairobi and speaks out about the Nairobi he sees – both the good and the bad. His work has the traditional look of the artistic and pedestrian Barbershop art, which makes it all the more suited to express what Soi has got to say.

“My work mostly touches on issues related to the youth like fashion trends, music and life in general. I try to create an attitude of what you see might be what you get from it.” – Michael Soi

Soi’s political and social observations are startlingly and starkly real when he puts it on his canvas. I hope that as he continues to work, we all Africans will see just how decadent and corrupt our usual course of life is going. Taking a look below:



“My biggest inspiration is the city of Nairobi”




The goal of my artwork is…”to create a visual diary where in the next 15 to 20 years, young people will look at my work and see where Kenyan society has come from.”



Peoples refer to my work as controversial…”because I touch on issues that they do and don’t want put out there. I talk about corruption and commercial sex work. Kenyan society is one that loves to bury its head in the sand.”


“I do work that revolves around corruption because it is a big problem in Kenya, which seems to have interfered with the development of this country. Impunity is how government deals with this issue making it very difficult- I dwell on issues that a lot of artists will choose not to address.”

Shop Soi’s artwork on African Colours and Saachionline. See more art work on Soi’s Facebook

Via Afriversal, with quotes from Soi’s interview with One