Student expelled for 'demonic drawings' honoured at five-star hotel

A 17-year old student who was expelled from school on allegations of displaying ‘demonic drawings' has been honoured by Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel for his artwork.

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Ian Njenga, a Form Four student, was expelled from Bahati High School in Nakuru after the administration claimed that his art was “suggestive that he owes allegiance to some demonic faith.”

The hotel’s office of public communication said that Njenga’s story was touching given that he was an innocent lad who unknowingly rallied the country towards appreciating art.

“We selected the boy because we wanted to give him a platform to nurture his talent and showcase his artwork. We value people with fresh ideas and want to expose them to a ready market. His exploits will be a stepping stone for other budding artists,” said the hotel’s PR manager Mwingirwa Kithure.

Njenga was part of a group of seven artists selected by Villa Rosa Kempinski to display their work during the hotel’s second edition of the annual art exhibition and auction programme dubbed ‘Wasanii Jukwani.’

His piece on display was a charcoal on canvas painting with the theme Vintage Transport priced at Sh50,000.

“I was in primary school when I noticed that I had a love for art. I would draw cartoons by the age of ten. It came naturally. I am happy that my parents encouraged me to cultivate this talent while pushing on with my education. It is great to be featured in a big exhibition,” Njenga said at the exhibition.

His expulsion drew anger from Kenyans especially the art lovers. And even though the Nakuru County Director ordered the school to re-admit him, his parents opted to transfer him to another school.

He advised those with a passion for art not to give up anytime soon.

“I want to encourage young people with such talents not to give up but fully express themselves through such means. There are economic benefits if taken seriously.”

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