The painting process was very nice; I appreciated the mixing of the colours and I felt very relaxed. Blue is my favourite colour. I have a history with blue which started when I went away to high school at 13. I was very young, and I was not good at washing my own clothes. My aunt used to tease me and say, “When you go to high school, I’ll be coming there to wash for you”. I was praying we would not have white shirts, but they were luckily blue, and so I love that colour.
I love this kind of posture very much: it is like a calling. The green reminds me of our home during those weekends we would go herding. My father keeps cattle and it is a must to go and do the herding. It also symbolises a calm environment, so, when I am tired, I relax under a tree. It is a time for me and for reflection. I feel relaxed.
Most of the time here I have been quiet, reflecting, thinking about myself, the colours I would like most. When it came to colouring myself, I took time to think and decided to do black. The colour black here is the common colour for me. I didn’t know how to wash my clothes, but now I am living alone, I just wear black. Maybe when I am married, I will change the lifestyle. This yellow is just to make it brighter. Pink on the dress, since pink is attractive and loved by most women.
I hate betrayal most. I have even placed it down by my feet. I hate people who are not straightforward, who pretend that they are with you, but they are not. The word ‘unity’ means people being together. The thing, which will make me belong is unity. We need unity, cohesion – like a family, you stand together during the good and the bad moments. If something is wrong, people ought to just sit and talk about it. That is the way my father taught me. When we are united, many things are going to happen, both within the family and at the village. When I was in school three robbers broke into our house. It was quite a very bad experience and my father was injured. It was tough, but what I liked was the way in which the villagers came to assist us. I like the unity and cohesion in our village. That is why I said I belong to my village, because these values are there.
The mango tree represents fruits and peace. During the mango season, they fall down. Children from neighbouring village can come to pick them, eat or do whatever. But, the rule is that you should not harvest those mangos that are still on the tree. It is as if you would be casting away all the blessings. So, I like the peace that is there and the discipline.
These two bodies represent my character because I feel like I am a person who likes a lot of teamwork. Even my sisters tease me, saying I cannot do anything alone. I like to share things and I am a friendly person. That is why I have drawn it near my heart. That is also an expectation of the person who I am hoping to marry in the future. Here is a pumpkin tree. When growing, a pumpkin jumps, coils, but, with another tree nearby, it climbs it. Here are the fruits which it is bearing. I think that I am like a pumpkin tree. That is why people say I like teamwork. If you are close to me, you will be involved.
The two helicopters over my head are about resistance and rescue from violent extremism. It is like there is a river sweeping very fast, and people – even the best swimmers – can drown. I believe everybody should watch over the other person. That is why I said, being alone, it is not easy. Other people must always intervene in our life for our success and safety. If you see someone getting into violent extremism from an early stage, try to save him.
The trap is violent extremism. Many people start after being convinced that, when they go to jihad and die, lots of good things will happen to them: they will be given 70 virgins, have houses in paradise, or that they will be paid. These are the things that people are promised. If you are here, looking at this, you see many good things. Everybody wants good things and that is why it is used as a trap. Now here, in this part, these are the people who are holding you from falling into the trap, such as your parents or other people who tell you not to go as it is just a lie. They are down here because they are seeing things from a different angle. They do not see what you are seeing. There are the gaps and you could stumble, trip and fall.
To be a pilot was my childhood dream, but now I have chosen a different career path. The helicopter symbolises travelling, and maybe one day I could have an opportunity of going to the United States. Those are the great expectations. That is the positivity in me. I could go for further study to become a professor.