To build his motorcycles, Arinaitwe uses scrap pieces such as spoons, bearings, wires, necklaces, rings, tins and plumbing fixtures.
By Fred Mubanda
To Nicholas Arinaitwe, a creative person is motivated by the desire to not beat others, but instead to achieve.
He also believes that every child is an artist and the only problem is remaining one when they grow up.
The talented 30-year-old took the plunge into the art business seven years ago. Today, his workshop is at his home in Bunamwaya-Ngobe, Wakiso district, where he designs and moulds sculputres.
The fourth-born of seven children, Arinaitwe, after his 'A' Level studies, attended Michelangelo College of Creative Arts at Kisubi, off Entebbe Road, for a diploma course in industrial art.
That was from 2008 to 2010.
He performed so well that he earned a government sponsorship to Kyambogo University for a degree in industrial art.
Arinaitwe harbours admirable creativity
Arinaitwe says he is a naturally-gifted artist, who is passionate about motorcycles.
“When I was still young I used to make wire car push toys and others, but my father disliked it and used to punish me for that. He wanted me to concentrate on reading books."
Yet today, Arinaitwe's father is proud that art has enabled him to upgrade his studies at Kyambogo - on top of making new friends.
“My father punished me not because he did not love me, but because he thought I was wasting time doing art that would supposedly not benefit my future, says Arinaitwe, who was born in Kasese district.
Drawing from his own experience, he encourages parents to give their children a chance at developing their innate skills so as to nurture creativity.
Some of Arinaitwe's work
How he does it
To create his miniature motorcycles, Arinaitwe uses scrap pieces such as spoons, bearings, wires, necklaces, rings, tins and plumbing fixtures.
The scrap materials collected include copper, steel, lead and aluminum items. “I buy them from scrap dealers or sellers for sh1,000 per kilogramme depending on the type of metal."
To begin with, he re-arranges and assembles each piece of metal to make the work precise. Measurements follow.
After, he welds the metals together to eventually bring the motorcycle to completion. But this requires a lot of expertise - which Arinaitwe has.
Depending on the product size, Arinaitwe can design one or two pieces on average per day. He then sprays his creations with raisin colour paint.
Arinaitwe busy at work at his home in Bunamwaya
According to him, the market for his products is good, although he has just started supplying them.
Arinaitwe produces decorative and toy motorcycles for both low and high income earners and promotes them through individual customers, galleries and exhibitions.
The prices can be negotiable.
Prices range from sh150,000 to sh200,000 for small motorcycle, a medium one starts from sh450,000 to sh800,000 while the big ones for for sh1m.
“I also sell them in US dollars."
The fruits of his labour
Arinaitwe's work has enabled him to buy land in Wakiso on Hoima road. “Through this project, I have also got new friends and expanded my skills set. I can look after my family too."
He adds: “I also get contracts and hired by clients to design for them sculptures in their public or private places.”
Arinaitwe says the appreciation of art by Africans is still low and therefore he advises artists to be patient and gain better knowledge of the business.
“In the art business, clients are seasonal. It is not a must that you will always get them. So it is better that you pursue other income-generating engagements to earn an extra buck as well as keep your mind active.
The work of Arinaitwe's hands
Arinaitwe wants to design more unique innovation products in the future.
He also hopes to go back for studies to upgrade from a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Art and Design to a Masters.
“This will enable me to lecture not to earn money but to share my knowledge with the young artists so that they benefit in the world of art,” he says.
He also wishes the Government to create a standard market for art products both locally and beyond, and to also make it as a policy to fundraise for their projects. This, he says, could solve the problem of youth unemployment.
The miniature motorcycles Arinaitwe makes can be used as toys and also for decoration in offices, homes and other places.
He says they must be kept in a clean and dry place to prevent them getting rusty.