For the last three years, Kenyan illustrator and graphic designer, Musa Omusi has been bringing Swahili proverbs, misemo, to life in vibrant, allegorical fashion.

With 44 illustrations and GIFs in various stages of completion to date, Musa draws inspiration from a myriad of sources including old primary school sketch pads, matatu stickers and shop signage.

‘I love the individual power that each colour holds […] I therefore enjoy a lot of experimentation in my use of colour to add an additional layer of meaning or vibe to my art,’ he says.

These reimagined wise and witty sayings have morphed into home furnishings: pillow cases, chairs and poster prints. Musa has also put out a limited line of t-shirts as a collaboration with Kenyan hip-hop artist and entrepreneur, Muthoni the Drummer Queen (MDQ). He also hopes to compile the illustrations in a colouring book in the near future.

'The one with good luck never chances.'
'Respect is of the heart.'
'A flag follows the wind.'
'Intelligence is [like] hair, every person has his/her own.'
'Intelligence is [like] hair, every person has his/her own.'
'The village cockerel doesn't crow as loudly as the one in the town.'
'Follow the bee to eat the honey.'
'The hand that gives is the one that's rewarded.'
'Unity is power.'

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