You don't have to be one thing in life. You can be everything you want to be. Don't box yourself in, go forth and conquer the world.
In his early childhood while other kids were out playfully running, Daniel Muraba had found a love that kept him indoors—his canvas and drawing tools. He practiced the one activity that gave his heart little kicks of joy throughout the years. And in 2016, he made up his mind to start drawing professionally.
A BCOM graduate gainfully employed as an accountant, he still draws part-time, a side job that earns him extra cash – good cash. We spent some time with him and among other things he explained how he manages to juggle the two jobs. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you a 2018 graduate doubling up as an artist who has done a drawing for Equity’s Dr. James Mwangi, Daniel Muraba…
Who is Daniel Muraba?
Muraba is a young, visionary, enthusiastic artist cum accountant who tries to capture and address topics through fine art portraiture.
Which company do you work for as a full-time employee?
I’m an accountant with Halliday Finch Africa. But because passion will always find its way, I still manage to face my canvas and cast my magic spells on it.
How do you manage to strike a balance between the two jobs?
It’s possible. I’ve always believed that if I put my mind to anything I can accomplish it. I dedicate my time away from official duties to growing my art portfolio. I wake up at 4am to do art, then office work from 9am-5pm, plus a lot of prayers in-between.
Do you ever feel like quitting one of the jobs to fully concentrate on the other? If yes, which one do you feel like quitting and why?
At the moment, no. My art gets inspired by my other life pursuits such as accounting and volunteering for various projects that are all in line with my passion.
Which artist has influenced your work and why?
I’ve been influenced by a variety of artists most notably Patrick Kinuthia, Kennedy Kinuthia, Wallace Juma and internationally by Arinze Stanley among others. They have influenced me because they addressed the social-political issues in a very profound way using art. All their works are collaged with deep messages.
Here’s a waggish one, ready? Does drawing pay or do you eat the fruits growing on trees you draw?
(Laughs, suppressing it with a fist) Yes, though like any business there’re good days and bad days. Anyway, while working on a piece I keep my mind steered clear of money. I do it for the passion, but once I’m done someone will always be willing to pay for it.
Mind mentioning some personalities you’ve done drawings for?
No, I don’t. There’s notably Dr. James Mwangi of Equity Bank, and Eng. Joshua Ichang’i—an engineer at Athi Water
I’m reading this interview and I decide I want Muraba to do a drawing of my girlfriend and frame it for me. How can I reach him?
I can be reached through the following social media sites: Instagram - muraba_art and Facebook – Muraba Art.
What’s your upcoming event at Michael Joseph Center about?
It’s a charity event for raising funds which will be used to buy art supplies to teach art to less fortunate children. The exhibition will be themed “Art for the future” running on 21st of April from 1500hrs to 1800hrs with artists from Hadassah Project.
Was Commerce also a passion because you ended taking it up at Uni?
Yes it was, although it came second after art. I wanted to do art but my financial situation could not allow.
What would you say to a fully employed individual who has another side passion?
You don't have to be one thing in life. You can be everything you want to be. Don't box yourself in, go forth and conquer the world with all that you hold dear in your heart, with might and confidence.
And what would you say to unemployed youths?
Use your giftings and skills to create income, wealth and jobs for others. It will be challenging, it will be difficult, but nothing good comes easy.
Our society would consider drawing a hobby but not a real job. What’re your thoughts?
Art well packaged and marketed can morph from being just a hobby to a well paying job. I personally think that society has that view because many artists haven't been groomed or mentored well enough to turn their passion to a fulfilling profession.
Any favorite work you did and got attached to? Why?
"Promises". It’s a depiction of the disappointments that Kenyan youth are facing as a result of the fake promises leaders make but end up doing close to nothing when they get in positions of power. It portrays a young man with a frown of dissatisfaction written all over his face. There’re locks on his head to represent the many locks that tie down the youth, and a leather jacket representing the cloak of illegalities which they resort to for lack of better options after the empty promises.
If you could choose to either time travel to the past or the future, which one would you choose and why?
I’d go to the past to encourage that version of me to keep believing in my dreams regardless of what life surprises me with. With that I'll have fixed the future without having to go there.