My painting is about a young woman who is fighting different kinds of battles both emotionally, physically. Physically on the ground. It shows a beautiful curvy woman. I was skinny before I was married after I gave birth I had this figure and it really affected me. I am really struggling with my body but thank God I have come to accept motherhood and lost some couple of pounds which is a good thing.
On the inner side of my body, I have used black and red I did not paint myself as a black woman that is part of my identity crisis because I am multi-cultured. I am both Kenyan and Tanzanian I am Kikuyu, I have Indian blood inside me, and you pick whichever suits you best. Here the African woman is my identity and these are my prints wanting to move but still there is a firewall. So this is my struggle with identity, with self-esteem and my culture.
The cat in my body map is because I tend to identify myself with this animal. The cat has characteristics of curiosity, loving and aggressive at the same time.
I have used the green and yellow this is a form of illumination to get to understand my inner self, to accept my flaws and try to move steps higher.
Here I made some biceps this is a form of success to say that I am strong and energetic. Above I have a crown on my head. Through all that I have been through, I have been able to survive and I still wear my crown intact.
I have decided to partition my body map into two sides: a dark side and a light side. The dark side and the dark clouds to symbolize my dark days. I do not have people who I share the same ideas with. There is insecurity, there is drugs and it is a patriarchal society. We women, we still feel in shackles. This ladder with one the bars are strong the other are weak means that the entire system is unstable which leads to poor economy and the black, red, and brown colors can portray this.
The light side where there is light, freedom and peace with the colors that I have used. These are the colors of jubilation and illumination. There is the sun. The sun is a form of nourishment. When you are here then you can be able to climb the sturdy ladder and reach much higher to achieve what you want. Then you have actually found yourself through unity, women empowerment, love, education and all the good qualities of life. You are able to climb the step higher move towards the sun.
The colors of my body map show that am not happy where I am. I want somewhere else where I am able to grow, to fly and to give my daughter a better life. What is hindering me now is not the insecurity the economic situation. I am economically hindered, handcuffed to an extent that I am not able to live up to my aspirations. I can manage the insecurity because cause I tend not to stay out late in the night etc.
The title that I want to use for my painting is phenomenal. I want to use that word because thorns have been thrown at me but I am still here. I have been able to survive through poverty and hardships and I am still there and able to speak and to bring a stronger new me.
My picture gives people hope and strength not to give up but to fight and never let go. When you accept things and you are able to live your life as it is and face every obstacle in your life positively then nothing can break you down.
I was raised by a single parent. I believe that when I give you the right tools you are able to provide yourself a better life. That is why I wrote women empowerment on my body map. We should not stick to the old traditions. We should not remain stuck here. You do not need a man to survive. Yes, you need them biologically to procreate but in terms of socially, culturally and economically. I do not think you need a man to put a plate on your table. A man does not define me. I can stand on my own and make things better for everyone.