Mounou Desire Koffi, Creates Colourful Artwork Using Old phones.

Mounou Desire Koffi, Creates Colourful Artwork Using Old phones.

Mounou Desire Koffi, born in the city of Buyo, in the southwest of the Ivory Coast, makes artwork with telephone keyboards. An ecological and committed Ivorian artist, gives a second life to old discarded mobile phones by recycling them into colourful artworks.

The 27-year-old artist began using old mobile phone keyboards to create portraits, landscapes, and drawings of people's experiences in colourful urban settings with diverse ecological themes.

"My mission is to give e-waste a second life," he said.

"I lived in an environment where this waste existed. The telephone is essential in life; people use it a lot, and when the gadget stops working, they dump it in the trash bin, and more and more of it ends up in the streets, There is no mechanism to manage it, "he explained.

Mounou Desire Koffi selecting used telephone Keyboard which will be used for his artwork.

As an artist, I thought to myself, why not use things that people had discarded and then bring them back to the people who had used these phones in a different form? we're trying to give a second life to these mobile phones.

He hopes to use the proceeds from his art to open recycling centres and help educate Ivorians and people across the region about the opportunities that recycling affords. A graduate of Abdijan's Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Koffi's passion was discernible as he reclined on the chair and described his journey not only as an artist but as an individual doing his best to keep the environment clean and healthy.

Koffi regards his work as an aesthetic opportunity to focus attention on contemporary issues like recycling, a toxic environmental hazard that is a headache for manufacturers, dealers, and users. Koffi's art also shows how technology has changed over time. Mobile phones used to have keypads, but now they have more sophisticated touch screens.

Touch screens are often used to make the feet of his characters, and broken glass is used to show how new technologies can be both good and bad.

Koffi's works are available in virtual galleries worldwide, his main goal is to focus locally and open art training centres across Ivory Coast to educate and mentor the next generation of e-waste recyclers - his contribution to saving the planet from choking in e-waste and becoming a better home for all.

Photo Credit: Ange Kumassi