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Sanaa is an exceptional painter and jeweller. He works passionately and with total dedication at his Kwetu Africa studio in Lubowa, Entebbe Rd. Sanaa also has long experience of working as an arts organiser. Between 2001 and 2003 he served on the management team of the Uganda Artists Association. From 1968 to 1970 he was the Assistant Crafts Officer at the Ministry of Culture and Community Development in the then programme of reviving indigenous arts and crafts in Ugandan communities. In this capacity he was privileged to manage the arts and crafts section of the Uganda Pavilion at the EXPO 70 in Osaka, Japan.

The beginning of the Idi Amin regime was also the start of Sanaa’s independent artistic exercises. In 1971 he opened the Sanaa Gallery in Mombassa, Kenya. It was remarkable and ground breaking in that it was the first art gallery in Mombassa selling African Art and offering interior design services. He ran this gallery until 1982 when he moved to Italy. Wishing to add to his own techniques in art and design, Sanaa took various courses. He attained an Interior Design Diploma by correspondence in 1982 from Rhodec International College of Interior Design, Brighton, UK. He attended short courses in Design at the Universita Internazonale dell Arte and the Tomazo Yashimoto Studio in Florence, Italy in 1982 and 1983 respectively. He moved to London and in 1985 completed a course in Jewelry Design and Goldsmith at the London College of Art and Design.

From 1986 until 1988, while in London, Sanaa run his own gallery the Safari Studios and Gallery showing his work as well as that of other African artists. During this time he was very busy on the London art scene. As a member of the artists group NUBI comprised of artists from Africa and the Caribbean, Sanaa taught various art forms under the Multicultural Curriculum in Inner London Schools. In 1986 he taught classes at The Africa Center, London in Recycling and Jewelry making. In 1987 he was Artist in Residence for Art and Jewelry at The Commonwealth Institute also in London.

After 18 years of absence Sanaa returned to Uganda in 1989 and started Kwetu Africa, an appropriate technology center for the arts in Lubowa. He works as a painter and jeweler, while researching the alternative usage of natural materials in art and design. Sanaa offers training and employment to men and women of various age groups in the use of natural materials like barkcloth and raffia to make very beautiful products like costumes and furnishings. At Kwetu Africa Sanaa taught teachers of people with disabilities in 1991. And since 2002, he has been receiving his neighbors the students of Lincoln International school where individual classes make a scheduled visit each term. In order to reach more children around Kampala, Sanaa holds workshops for them every June on the International Day of the Child at Afri Art Gallery, Lugogo. Owing to his focus on using natural materials, the Lewisham Council in London invited Sanaa in 1998 as Artist in Residence to teach children and teachers Art and Jewelry using natural fibers. Sanaa is very active and has exhibited extensively since 1980 in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, UK, USA and Germany.


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