Art as a way of moving up in the world

Some members of the Mukuru Art Collective, July 21, 2021. 

Photo credit: Margaretta wa Gacheru

What you need to know:

  • It was to Sister Mary that Mutugi turned once he got out of prison.
  • Admitting he had been a relatively successful pickpocket for a time, his day of reckoning came after stealing cash and a new Nokia cell phone from a father who had been carrying his sick child to the hospital, thus becoming what looked like easy prey to Mutugi.

James Mutugi, 39, just got out of jail in 2020 after 13 years of being shuffled between Kamiti Maximum Security Prison to other jails around the land. He’s a self-confessed former pickpocket and ex-con who only fell into crime when the going got rough, and his poverty led to his believing he had no other choice but crime.


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