MASK: Strengthening creativity and innovation of young Africans to build a better future

MASK strengthens creativity and innovation of young people in Africa to improve their learning, employability, leadership and entrepreneurial skill


Technology in the 21st century advances at a rate equivalent to a millennia of change being compressed within a single lifespan, bringing opportunities as well as great challenges. To adapt and succeed, young people need strong creativity - the source of powerful intellect, resilience and positive work ethic - to imagine new solutions, invent alternatives, and mastermind breakthrough.   


Share creativity

at our

Museum of Contemporary African Art

for Youth

(coming soon)

Creativity is what separates those who are prepared for the work and life

in  21 century and those who are not

Artwork by MASK Prize participant Nicole Riziki, 19, Kenya

"MASK made an entrepreneur and a leader. Since finishing school I developed a couple of businesses and taught creativity at my local school telling the parents about the goodness of art. My village elders asked me for "good ideas" that can improve our community. I feel respected. I make difference. I love this creativity! But before MASK came I did not know I was creative!"

Joel, 20, from a village in Kenya

MASK former students say:

 "MASK developed my habit of innovating. While studying chemistry in college I invented a new drug. At my first job I was promoted to a supervisory position for suggesting innovative solutions and became a supervisor of a all-men team after only four months. I now work at a major global company in Nairobi that had employed me for my "creative attitude”. Creativity empowered me beyond my dreams."

Hellen, 28, from a village in Kenya


Artwork by MASK Prize participant Eddy Ochieng, 23, Kenya

About MASK

Started as a small mobile unit in 2007 pioneering creativity clubs in schools in Kenya to fill the creativity education gap, we progressed sufficiently to present its work at UNESCO IIEP (France), UNESCO KNC (South Korea), Nairobi National Museum and RaMOMA (Kenya), Kenyan Embassy (France), SOAS University of London, Royal Overseas League, Turner Contemporary, Saatchi Gallery (UK), George Washington University, Woodrow Wilson Center, US Library of Congress, the White House (USA) and other institutions.

Following the presentation at the White House, in their letter to MASK Barack and Michelle Obama wrote: "As our world grows interdepended, we look forward to working together to the benefit of all nations and to strengthening the bonds between people."  We have been acknowledged by Education Innovations Initiative of Harvard University and by the Center for Education Innovation of the Results for Development Institute, and featured in a number of specialist and national press and media.

Working closely with the Kenyan Ministry of Education throughout, we were pleased to see the Kenyan education reform of 2017 that made creativity a “core competences” of the basic school curriculum. "MASK has been an absolute game-changer for my creative occupation" and "the driver of change in our society’" say our beneficiaries.

The images below are the works by MASK participants


The world where all young people can fully realise their creative potential


Children and young people  living in Africa

Teachers and education authorities in Africa

Local communities in Africa and society at large


MASK (Mobile Art School in Kenya) was founded in 2007 by London-based artist Alla Tkachuk who discovered while painting in Kenya that art practices in schools were critically limited.


To champion creativity and assist with learning and teaching creativity


Training young people and teachers

Developing learning and teaching material

Engaging in policy dialogue through exhibitions, conferences, and publications


To empower young people to achieve success and economic self -sustainability through strong creativity


Creativity Clubs in schools including 

Creativity for Entrepreneurship and Leadership Clubs 

MASK Prize creativity platform

Training Teachers

MASK work has been acknowledged by

Harvard University's Global Education Innovation Initiatives, US

Results for Development Institute's Center for Education Innovations, US

UNESCO InSEA (International Society for Education Through Art)

Barack and Michelle Obama, 2013



Ibrahim El-Salahi, the Pioneer of modern African art 

Jeff Koinange, Africa's leading journalist and broadcaster

Hannah O'Leary, Sotherby's Director and Head of Modern & Contemporary African Art 

Charles Dance OBE, Celebrated and renowned actor


Dr Lyndsay Bird

Tim Dann BA

Professor David Dilks

Professor John Gruzelier

Clare Dilks

Jonathan Slater

Cristina Carrigues


Alla Tkachuk MSc FRSA, Founder of MASK

Curiculum Advisor

Dr Nicholas Addison, Visiting Fellow at UCL Institute of Education, University of London

Exhibitions curators

Raymond Mulinge and Watson Kanui, Nairobi


MASK Creativity Ambassadors, MASK Alumni

MASK Prize Judges

Exhibition venues staff

Artists and schoolteachers

Donors and supporters

"In 2007 MASK has started supporting creativity education which is now recognised as an essential part of

human growth and development." Lyndsay Bird

“MASK's work is ground-breaking and important to the young Africans going forward.” Tim Dann


MASK is a UK registered charity No 1128734

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