The urge to create has always burned within Kenyan painter Zacharia Mbutha, but it fermented for many years before bursting to the forefront. As a teenager, Mbutha’s drawing abilities flourished and at the age of 20 he won an Africa-wide art competition. Despite this early taste of success, he decided not to pursue art full-time. Instead, he became a teacher and, eventually, the school’s headmaster. Yet as the years wore on, Mbutha became increasingly dissatisfied with his work as a school administrator. Finally, it grew to be too much and in 1979 he resigned and began paint full-time. This move was a boon for the East African art scene, within which Mbutha has become known for his expansive canvases displaying scenes of rural Kenyan life, meticulously crafted with miniscule dabs of thickly layered paint.