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Posts from the ‘narrative/book illustration’ Category

illustrated stories – going old school

April 23, 2012


Got a commission to illustrate a story for a magazine. The story is a simple and effective one, how a small kid inspired and adult to take risks and see life as an adventure and learning curve. My pastel/muted colour choice was influenced by Dan Clowes, and the old school Hannah Barbera Cartoons, where flat colours are used very effectively for character design, backgrounds and storytelling. Will be doing a few more projects with these guys and will post up the results. Been a while since I did narrative illustration and enjoying coming back to it, it mixes my love for character design with storytelling. Full size illustrations can be seen via the link below.

wangu wa makeri – in the beginning

October 5, 2011


wangu wa makeri - in the beginning by kiboko HachiYon

I have been working on my interpretation of Wangu Wa Makeri, a tribal myth from the Kikuyu tribe from Kenya, since 2008. The story appears in three sections, the beginning, the middle and the conclusion. I am piecing together bits and pieces that I find interesting and creating a visual contribution to the mainly oral myth. Part one can bee seen via the link below.

heaven vibe

October 25, 2010


Something I did a while back. Looking to move more into the publishing and narrative side of illustration, keep checking for updates. Click to enlarge

zap page 8 …

July 5, 2010


Zap is an ongoing narrative that I instigated together with the Ifreecans Collective and guest artists. Plans are to publish the tale after every 10 pages with alternative covers artists profiles at the back. Check out the whole story thus far via the link below.

zap: page 5

May 14, 2010


Below is my contribution to the collaborative story ZAP! . Check link below for more…

children’s book illustration

January 14, 2009


Children’s book illustration is an area I am looking into at the moment. I had a chance to step into that world early last year and came out with mixed views. I have come to find that as an illustrator, at times it is better for people to look for you because of the work you do. I have also come to find that at times, if a client does not like or commission the work presented to them, it can always be used later on.No piece of work is done in vain.

I produced the set of illustrations below for a children’s book, I only submitted sketches, these are the colour versions. I aim to finish the story and self publish it at some time in the near future.feel artistic cane.


nervous conditions illustrated

January 8, 2009


I did a set of 16 illustrations for the book Nervous Conditions. I chose for me what I thought were the key scenes. Those who are familiar with the book might argue differently, but any feedback given will be much appreciated. For those who do not know about the text, hopefully these illustrations might arouse your curiosity.

the middle : change from matriarchy to patriarchy

November 9, 2008


The illustrations below are based on the chapter ‘Tribal Origin and Kinship System’ from the book Facing Mount Kenya by Jomo Kenyatta.

The chapter speaks of the change form a matriarchal system to a patriarchal one. Under the collective name of Mumbi’s Tribe, women continued to be the heads of their family groups and clans for some generations. While holding superior and dominant positions in the community, women became domineering and ruthless fighters, practised polyandry and subjected men to capital punishment and all kinds of humiliation. Men were indignant at their treatment and planned to revolt. As the women were physically stronger than the men of that time, and also better fighters, it was decided that the best time for a successful revolt would be during the time when majority of women, especially their leaders were in pregnancy.

The men held a secret meeting and arranged a suitable date to execute their plan. They embarked on a campaign to induce the women leaders and a majority of their brave followers to have sexual intercourse with them. The women were unfortunately deceived by the flattery of the men, and blindly agreed to their inducements without knowing the wicked plan the men had made to overthrow the women. The men quietly waited for the result and after six moons elapsed, they clearly saw their plan had materialised. They organised into groups and finally carried out the revolt without much resistance.

Leadership was taken over by the men. They decided to change the name of the tribe as well as the names of the clans which were given under the matriarchal system, to new ones under the patriarchal system. They succeeded in changing the name of the tribe from Mumbi’s clan to Gikuyu’s clan. But when it came to changing of the clan names, the women were very infuriated and strongly decided against the change which they looked upon as a sign of ingratitude on the part of the men.

The men allowed the original clan names to remain unchanged and the nine clans in the Gikuyu tribe are still known under the names of the nine Gikuyu daughters who were founders of the Gikuyu clan system.








conclusion: wangu wa makeri

November 8, 2008


Wangu Wa Makeri sat on men. This is a recurring theme in the many versions of the myths that have been told about her and in some, it is cited as the instigator of her downfall, the revolt of men, and change in the system of rule. This is what I was interested in showing in my work, that the many narratives about Wangu have been weaved in a myth that continuously evolves and changes according to the orator. Personally, I find the myth more compelling to illustrate than the factual story of Wangu. However, for me to be able to arrive at the set of illustrations below, I had to have as factual understanding of who Wangu was as a person.

My version starts on what I feel she is most famous for, then goes to the men planning and carrying out their revolt, to the women getting pregnant and being handed domestic tools for their role in society has changed, and finally the men celebrating their victory and taking over leadership. My take on Wangu Wa Makeri.






the beginning: myth of the origin of the agikuyu

November 6, 2008


The images below have been re-worked with the intention of being published in the near future. For the up to date work, please visit the link below.


The basis of of these illustrations are the origin of the Gikuyu focusing on the story of Gikuyu and Mumbi and their nine daughters.


Ngai calls Gikuyu showing him all lands at base of Mount Kenya telling him the lands will be the home of Gikuyu and his children forever


Gikuyu is sent to a grove of fig trees where he finds Ngai has provided him with a beautiful wife. Gikuyu names her Mumbi.


Gikuyu and Mumbi live happily together and have nine daughters. Gikuyu is disturbed at having no male heir


Ngai commands Gikuyu to make a sacrifice at fig tree and return the following day


Gikuyu returns to fig tree and finds nine young men awaiting him.Gikuyu gives consent to young men to marry his daughters only if they agree to live under a matriarchal system


After the death of Gikuyu and Mumbi came the formation of the nine principal clans of the Gikuyu each named after the nine daughters. When all clans united under one strong bond of kinship they were known as ” Rorere Rwa Mbari Ya Mumbi”- Children or People of Mumbi or Mumbi’s Tribe.

the beginning

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