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Msimamo Series

‘Part of the ‘Women of Firsts’ collection and solo exhibition

2022-2023, Multimedia on Paper, 297 x 420 mm

(Msimamo: Position in Swahili)

I revisited the style of my Leso Series by creating a 3D effect that symbolises the act of bringing each of these women and their brilliant achievements to the fore.

This collection and exhibition was my first solo show. The aim of the works was simple but important to me, to recognise and celebrate six remarkable women who are pioneers in different fields. Women who I feel are not well known because most people do not consider their communities as important as others. So, through each colourful piece, I want you to learn about these women and the stories of their people. But more importantly, I want you to ask yourself why you haven’t heard of them before.

Hadithi ni silaha za mabadiliko 

(Swahili for ‘Stories are the weapons of change’)

Burkina Faso’s Fanta Regina Nacro is well known for being the first woman from the country to direct a feature film and founding member of the Guilde Africaine des Realisateurs et Producteurs (The African Guild of Directors and Producers). She is an artist who explores the themes of African cinema while tackling issues surrounding illness, such as AIDS and education for the girl child. She represents the “New African Wave”. Nacro’s films tend to question the traditions of Burkina Faso while looking at the relationship between tradition and modernity in today’s world.

Uwakilishi ni Muhimu sana

(Swahili for ‘Representation really matters’)

Uwakilishi ni Muhimu sana (297 mm x 420 mm)
Swahili for 'Representation really matters'
Filipina journalist and politician Geraldine Batista Roman is the first transgender person elected to the Congress of the Philippines. She has served as the Representative of Bataan’s 1st district since 2016.

Simamieni lililo kweli

(Swahili for ‘Stand for what is True’)

Aboriginal Australian Professor Megan Jane Davis is an activist and international human rights lawyer. She was the first Indigenous Australian to sit on a United Nations body and was Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Davis is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous, and Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law at the University of New South Wales. She is especially known for her work on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

vikwazo vidogo sio milima

(Swahili for ‘Small obstacles are not mountains’)

Emirati Zahra Lari is the first figure skater from the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East to compete internationally. Lari is a five-time Emirati National Champion. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Emirates Skating Club, the first established figure skating club in the country. She is a dedicated activist for the health and well-being of the UAE society and women in general. Zahra is registered and certified in the UAE National Records for her achievements in serving Society and the State.

Hakuna kikomo kwa hamu ya mtu

(Swahili for ‘There’s no limit to one’s desire’)

Ecuador’s Hermelinda Urvina Mayorga was the first Ecuadorian and South American woman to obtain a pilot’s license. She was an early member of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization for women pilots.

wale wanaovumilia hushinda

(Swahili for ‘Those who endure, conquer’)

Japanese mountaineer, author and teacher Junko Tabei was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the first woman to ascend the Seven Summits, climbing the highest peak on every continent. Tabei wrote seven books, organized environmental projects to clean up rubbish left behind by climbers on Everest, and led annual climbs up Mount Fuji for youth affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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