A Traditional One

I like this painting because I did it myself. This position of my body shows like I am having stress or that I am not happy. I used the black colour to reflect stress. It is as if am in the darkness. The red colour is for danger. These colours and the plane inside my body refers my journey to Saudi Arabia. I had to travel there for work after I finished Form Four. I tried to resist going but I wasn’t able. I was going to a place where I did not know anybody and I was not ready for it.
The yellow colour is for happiness and the green one symbolises our vegetation. It is also the colour loved by our Prophet Muhammad.
The objects inside my body express my culture as a Digo. The traditional lamp referring to in olden days where there was no electricity. The bow and the arrow are the tools used by our grandparents to hunt wild animals. The 3 stones or jiko were used cook food on firewood.
Outside my body, the ship is the Likoni ferry. We use the ferry for travel and transporting goods between Mombasa and Kwale. The ferry is very important but I feel that it is not safe and that is better they make a bridge so that everyone can pass with his or her own way without boarding the ferry.
The pangas (machete) and bloodstains are about insecurity. That is the sign of violent extremism. If you come across these gangs, they are going to finish you because these gangs always have taken innocent people’s lives so that symbolizes insecurity.
Inside my body, I wrote I resist. This refers to resisting police violence. It is about the time when I intervened to prevent the police from shooting my nephew after he was involved in a phone theft. Say no to FGM is also about resisting female genital mutilation.
Outside my body, I have written the Qur’an. I believe in Allah and Muhammad is our Prophet. The Qur’an symbolizes Islam. This is my religion and it makes me have faith.
My experience during the workshop gave me courage to reflect and open up about what had happened to me for example during my journey to Saudi Arabia.
The title I would you like to give to my body map is “a Traditional One” because I based my painting on my Digo culture and tradition.
The message that I want to send to my community with this painting is: Say no to recruiting gangs. Artwork is a way of resistance. it can help to resist things like insecurity, killings by gangs and FGM.