This is me. I tried to put on our cultural cloth when we are having cultural dance this is how we dress. I chose Pinkish color this because it is my favorite color. I chose this position for my body to show that I am free to express myself. I want to be free to do whatever I want and to fight against all the badness. My arms and legs positions are also about freedom.
I have a crown on. When someone calls me Dee001 that keeps me going, it keeps me strong it is like waah he really wants me to be a Queen one day. The rabbit is like me as a person when you see it, it runs away to hide. The rabbit is living its own life style like me. In my house, when I come back from Swahilipot or Youth Advisory Council I sit in the room wait for the day I plan for tomorrow like this rabbit.
Inside my body: The grave is for my dad. He passed away when I was doing my Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE). The musical sign is because I like music. I often play music in the morning to motivate me. The boy and the girl picture The boy is my best friend. He is the one who has been pushing me to progress. The second person is my lastborn our lastborn, my stepsister. She is treating me as her second mother. The A inside my body stands for Advocate. The 3 traditional stones used for cooking with firewood. This our Digo tradition. The star the yellow and the blue symbolizes that above all, there is Allah. My Muslim identity is very important for me more important than tribe and ethnicity. If I were raised in the village, I could say that am more of a Digo but am raised in Likoni. This is my house in Likoni. I drew it to remember it has to be there. Go east go west home is the best wherever you go you will have to go home and am there because of my grandmother.
Outside my body map:
The house in green is my motherhouse. She lives in the village with my stepsiblings. I go there when I am having stress when I go there I feel relieved.
The word ‘Youth’ is about the Youth Advisory Council where I used to go to communicate with my fellow youth and to share ideas. There are youth who are coming from different communities and some are suffering from HIV/AIDs. We provide them with advice, give them motivational talks and play with them. The house is the youth zone where we meet. We call it a Maskani. It is a good maskani and it is in a safe place. I also drew the Swahili pot on the right side of my painting. This is a place where, we as youth use art and drama to address social problems.
The beach is about insecurity. Sometimes back people used to go to the beach to enjoy the breeze and stay there until late at night. These days it is not safe because of these men. They hide in the bushes, they are all around ready to rape you, cut you, and steal your things.
The Kenyan flag is to say that I am proud to be a Kenyan but there is one thing that I want to change in Kenya and it is about the insecurity.
I wrote community, gunshots, and I drew the ferry and the waters because of an incident where my cousin was shot in the ferry.
Community health worker, advocate, early marriage and early pregnancy is because I am an advocate against these.
What I want others to know about my painting is that every challenge you are facing, you have to have that power to conquer them and push yourself so that you can avoid all the problems.
My experiences during this workshop has changed me a lot…it taught me to be more tolerant, more caring towards others and not to judge from the outside .