I BECAME A QUADRIPLEGIC AFTER I BROKE MY NECK IN A DIVING ACCIDENT IN A SWIMMING POOL AT MY SCHOOL IN 1992 - I WAS THEN AGE 16. SINCE THEN I HAVE BEEN BEDRIDDEN. IT WAS NO ONE'S FAULT, AND I SAW NO PURPOSE IN COMPLAINING OR THINKING BAD ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME, BECAUSE IT DOES NOT CHANGE WHO I AM.
MY PHILOSOPHY HAS BEEN: WE MAY CREATE AS MUCH AS WE MAY THINK, BUT GOD IS THE GREATEST CREATOR WHO CAN CREATE SOMETHING FROM NOTHING, SOMEWHERE FROM NOWHERE, AND SOMEBODY FROM NOBODY.
TEN YEARS AFTER MY ACCIDENT, GOD GAVE ME THE GOOD FORTUNE TO HAVE PAINTING LESSONS, FUNDED BY THE APDK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MR. HUBERT SEIFERT. THAT IS HOW I BEGAN PAINTING FROM MY BED. I HOLD THE BRUSH BETWEEN THE PALM AND THE FINGERS OF MY FIST, PAINTING IN ACRYLICS ON VELLUM PAPER.
FOR YEARS I PAINTED, LEARNING AND IMPROVING MY STYLE, BUT THE PAINTINGS JUST SAT UNNOTICED UNDER MY BED, FOR THERE IS NO ONE TO SELL THEM TO IN A POOR COUNTRY. I HAD REACHED THE POINT WHERE I THOUGHT THAT I MIGHT NEVER BE ABLE TO EXHIBIT THEM, EXCEPT AT MY FUNERAL, WHERE THEY MIGHT BE DISPLAYED BESIDE MY CASKET. THEN CAME THE GLOBAL ART INTITIATIVE BY DOCTOR FRED SORRELLS.
NOW MY ART IS DISPLAYED IN AMERICA, AND SOLD AROUND THE WORLD. THIS PARTICULAR PAINTING I DID FOR MY FRIEND MALAYIKA-ANGEL JEANNENE, BECAUSE SHE LOVES BUTTERFLIES. SHE HELPED ME PUT TOGETHER THIS BLOG.
Where I live in Mombasa, Kenya, tourists come to see the beautiful sandy beaches on the Indian Ocean, with mountain ranges in the distance, the zoo Haller Park, big game parks, Mombasa marine parks, the 600yr old Fort Jesus; many tourists like to take the village and town walks to see the churches and the old town, as I used to do before my accident. Although I personally have not seen these places in years, all these have been inspirations for my paintings.
Mombasa, Kenya is a coastal town which is over 2000 years old. We have a port serving commercial traffic to and from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, etc. We have also thousands of tourist hotels which is our countries income earner. There are areas where the poor, the medium, and the wealthy live. I live among the poor.
MY LATE MUM WAS AN ANGEL TO ME. SHE WAS MY ONLY CARE-GIVER SINCE 1992 WHEN I BROKE MY NECK IN THAT TRAGIC DIVING ACCIDENT. SHE NEVER LEFT MY SIDE UNTIL 23RD JUNE THIS YEAR, PASSING AWAY DUE TO A HEART CONDITION. I HAD WANTED TO DO SOMETHING TO HONOR HER AND TO KEEP HER LEGACY ALIVE. IT WAS A GREAT DAY IN MY LIFE WHEN WE STARTED THE MAMA KENNEDY'S FUND AT OUR LOCAL MTOPANGA RBC BAPTIST CHURCH. THE FUND WILL BE MANAGED AND OPERATED BY THE CHURCH, AND THE CHURCH WILL BE THE GRANTOR. I WILL JUST BE THE FIRST PATRON. MY DREAM IS TO EXPAND THE FUND TO THE POINT WHERE IT WILL BE RESTORING HOPE TO PERSONS LIVING WITH DISABILITIES, AS WELL AS ORPHANS.