Themina Kader – Exploring four Decades of Art
by Lorna Likiza
Themina Kader has an impressive résumé and it only keeps getting better. She holds Masters and Doctorate degrees in Art Education specially, Cultural Anthropology. As a result, Kader is best described as an Artist, Poet, Cultural Anthropologist and former Art Teacher. From 1971 to 1994, she was the Head of the Art Department at the Duke of York (currently, Lenana School) in Nairobi. Many of her former students have gone on to become Artists, Architects, Lawyers and high powered professionals in their respective fields. As an artist, Kader has exhibited widely in group shows and solo in Nairobi, the UK, US and Germany.
At the moment, she has an ongoing online exhibiton of her art works spanning 40 years at the Alliance Française Mombasa website. The Mombasa born and raised artist will also exhibit physically at Alliance Française Mombasa starting the 12th of March all the way through to the inaugural editon of the Heroe Book Fair 2021 which starts on the 22nd of March until the 26th of March.
On International Women’s Day 2021, she was a keynote speaker at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in Mombasa. But not only is Kader focused on art. She additionally has curated the Altered Book. This is an impressive collection of the daily accounts of Kenya’s most popular newspaper on the 2017 Kenyan General Election. Her idea with the Altered Book is to educate generations to come who in 20 years will be old enough to vote. In 2018, Kader had the honor to display the completed manuscript in an exhibition at the Fort Jesus Verandah Gallery, generating positive interest in the Altered Book in the process. The book contains an assortment of photographs and written words by various journalists complete with a collection of Kenyan coins over the years since independence.
The Altered Book will be available for sale during the Heroe Book Fair 2021 at the Culture Africa stand. Culture Africa is one of the partners of the fair and a copy of Kader’s book retails at $27.36 (3,000KES). As one of the participant writers during the fair, she will also give a literary talk centered on the book, My Jail Experience by Mahatma Gandhi on Tuesday, 23rd March 2021 from 12pm-1pm EAT.
The following gallery shows part of the art work, shown at Alliance Francaise: