Client Success Stories

Denis Kasaza

 

 

 

Today we would like to highlight one of our most successful clients, Denis Kasaza. Denis is a current client of US Together’s Survivors of Torture program and former refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has been in the United States for one year, and since his arrival, he has worked hard to integrate into Columbus and develop his own business selling personal artwork. Picture 1

 

 

Denis’ background story is one of complexity, strife, and achievement. While living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Denis was forced to work for the political party of the former president: the A.F.D.L. He worked with a military general, who died in 1996. After his death, all government staffers continued their work under the new administration. However, this transition wasn’t peaceful. Soon after the new administration was established, there was a violent faction of people who opposed the president and anyone who worked for the government. The country became both physically and politically divided as tensions rose. Denis was confronted by members of an opposition group, who arrested him for working with the government and threatened him with violence. Thankfully, he was able to escape that same day and left the country. His family was unable to leave, but they were not employed by the government, and therefore not in immediate danger. He fled to Mozambique and then South Africa

 

 

Now, Denis is focusing on expanding his artistic abilities and forming his own business. He has seen the immense opportunity in Columbus, and has been working with US Together’s staff to establish himself as a well-known artist within the community. His artwork is multidimensional, taking inspiration from life in Congo and Mozambique, where he lived for 10 years. Picture 2Denis uses many forms of media, such as ink, wire, string and even dried banana leaves to gather the beauty of all aspects of African culture to create pieces that empower women. This past March, Denis showcased his art at US Together’s International Women’s Day celebration and sold the majority of his pieces. His artwork has even been featured in museums in South Africa and has been sponsored by Coca Cola. To check out some of Denis’ beautiful work, click here.