The last time the world heard about Uganda it was through the Kony 2012 viral video. The film, which aimed to make war criminal Joseph Kony “famous” and lead to his arrest, was viewed by millions of people all over the world. At the time, people were both critical and inspired by the Kony 2012 movement, but most wondered what would happen when the hype died down.
Even though the world is no longer laser focused on Uganda, people in the nation are working hard to improve their communities. One such man is Ruganzu Bruno Tusingwire, a 29-year-old eco artist from the country who wanted to turn junk into a safe playground for kids.
An art lecturer at Kyambogo University, Tusingwire was the first recipient of the TEDx City 2.0 Award, which he’s used to improve his community and sponsor a group of women eco-artists in Uganda.
Noticing there was a need in his community for a safe space for kid, Tusingwire decided to stop making art for museums and start putting it to work in his community.
“I shifted from doing artwork to just hang on walls, having little influence on society, to doing art that solves community needs. It’s helped me realize my value to society.”
Tusingwire’s playground art project, “Recycled Amusement,” is his attempt to help the thousands of children who suffer from a mysterious condition called “nodding disease,” which leaves many suffering from epileptic seizures.
For Tunsingwire, art has the power to change things and he’s using it to transform the lives of his countrymen.
“Art is unifying,” Tusingwire explains. “We can use what is around us to create treasure, employment opportunities, and make the environment better. There is a wonderful world of possibilities before us.”