Samuel Wanjau

  • Samuel Wanjau
© margaretta wa gacheru
Sculptor / carver
Principal country concerned : Column : Fine arts

Born: 1936, near Nyeri

An old hand at sculpting, Wanjau played his part in Kenya's struggle for independence carving gunstocks. After independence, he took to the curio scene as a fulltime sculptor, eventually tiring of the lack of originality that dominated his tourist-led industry. 
His unique gift finally came to the fore as the first artist in residence at Paa ya Paa Arts Centre.

Over the years, Wanjau has been celebrated for his bold pieces of art, as for his enduring belief in his own inventiveness as an artist. His humogous sculpture titled "Freedom Fighter" which was originally commissioned to stand in front of the parliament building continues to be a highlight of the Paa Ya Paa art collection. The piece was rejected by the government official who had commissioned it once it was complete.

Samwel Wanjau's sons are equally well known sculptors, Jackson Wanjau and Anthony Wanjau, both renowned artists in their own right.

Wanjau passed on last year, 2013, in September in Nyeri where he made his home.


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of