“On Route To Uhuru” was inspired by a photo I took while tracking on the Rongai route of Kilimanjaro. This is where my path met with this little girl whose family was selling cold drinks, snacks and a few other bits at their stall close to their home. This was our last chance to purchase items on our route, and we took a little break. I was so fascinated with this beautiful little girl in her bright dress. She was so friendly and came to greet us in Swahili “Jambo” As I knew very little Swahili and she did not speak English we spoke very little. She had such a positivity about her and left me so inspired. It was that smile, that kept me going, and at times when the trek seemed to be bringing me down, I would remember this little girl and her positivity.
I used acrylic paint with a monochrome colour scheme for the portrait and for contrast in the background I used recycled Nespresso capsules and Softi candy wrappers. The recycled materials were cut and arranged to form a pattern in an array of different colours.
It was while travelling to Ireland on our summer holiday when myself and my husband met Amber and Tom. They shared their daughter, Willow’s story with us and I was so touched by their story and wanted to contribute in any way I could. The first thing that came to mind was to send them positivity and something that can inspire them as well. This was when I thought of the little girl I met “On Route To Uhuru”, and I knew I had to share it with them. A few days later she was all boxed up and on route to the US, where she will be part of a silent auction to raise as much money as possible for the United MSD Foundation.
Title: “On Route To Uhuru”
Dimensions: 910mm x 610mm
Medium: Mixed Medium (Acrylic paint, Nespresso Capsules, Softi Candy Wrappers)
Donated to United MSD Foundation and auctioned off in a silent auction in Louisiana.