Ashraf Muwumuza: A meteorologist sketching photos for fun

On social media, he goes by the name Pencil King and to prove this, his profile picture is of him carrying portraits of the Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi and that of Liverpool and Egyptian forward Mohammad Salah.

As if that is not enough, his cover photo has portraits of different prominent persons including among other the Kabaka, socialite Zari Hassan as well as Salah.

One thing that stands out on his profile on social media and that is the fact that he is a meteorologist.

This is Ashraf Muwumuza a graduate of meteorology but with a passion for painting pictures.

“Since childhood, I have been doing art. I have been doing this since I was three years old and I loved it. Family members also encouraged me to do it,” Muwumuza begins his story.


He says that in high school, he used to draw pictures of renown celebrities as a hobby.

“In my senior six vacation in 2016, I started drawing pictures for money. Whereas there were no clients ready my family members used to buy my art pieces,” he says.

“My first earning was Shs 20,000 that I got from a drawing bought by my aunt. I was so happy with it.”

Muwumuza says this way, he realized he could do it at a professional level and start earning out of it and as they say, the rest is history.

He says that the beginning was not easy as it took him long to get clients who pay well, save for his family members but notes that with time, everything fell into place.

First customer

He narrates that while he started out, his girlfriend linked him to her friend who happened to be his first client.

“She wanted a portrait for her boyfriend as a birthday gift. When I was asked to do it, I welcomed the opportunity with both hands. That happened to be my first customer away from my family members.”

Muwumuza says whereas he has spent some time in the business, he has not yet reached where he wants to be.

“I am still struggling because I don’t have a work place. I work from home. My ideal workplace would be in the middle of the city where everyone would see my work,” he says.

He says currently, he operates online from where orders are made, clients pay a deposit and he starts work at home and then delivers the art pieces to their homes or workplaces.

In order to market himself well, Muwumuza says he drew portraits of almost all the prominent persons in the country and that he uses them as reference to ensure he gets clients.

“I have drawn many portraits for prominent persons but I don’t do it because they have ordered for them but I draw them to use them to help me in advertising,” he says.

“Most of them however haven’t seen my work because I am not well connected to reach them but those who have seen it have appreciated.”

Covid-19 pandemic

He says that just like everyone, the Covid-19 pandemic had far reaching consequences on his business since there were no clients.

“Because people then spent on necessities, no one could pay or make orders for portraits. Many people were not well off and those who had money were keeping it so as to survive during this period. It was a very big challenge for people like me who earn from art.”

He says that in order to survive, he had to find some other sources of income.


Muwumuza says not being well connected sees him get a few clients and consequently not enough money.

He says that this can partly be blamed on lack of a good workplace and showroom where his would be clients would see his work.

“If you don’t have a workplace, many clients think you are a fraud and hesitate to trust you with their money,” he says.

“Some of the clients pay deposit and promise to pay the balance on delivery of the art work but trick you and take the portrait without paying.”

Future is bright

Whereas things are not yet completely moving according to plan, Muwumuza says he is optimistic that with time, he will be some step further from where he is currently.

“In a few years to come, I want to be with my own workplace in the middle of the city. I want to be in a position of self-sustenance with many people knowing me for good work.”


 Muwumuza urges youths to focus more on their talents, adding that they can earn heavily from the same.

“Talent can never disappoint. You can exercise your talent alongside other work. Youth should always dream big.”

He however urges government to invest more in searching for talented people in various fields for development.

“If you help and develop one person, they will also in future help others who are in need.”

Muwumuza can be reached on

Twitter: @AshrafMarvelAr1

Facebook: Ashramarvelart

Instagram: Pencil_ King _1


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