The life of a young artist from the street
My name is Mushidi Athumani, born in Bukoba in the North West of TANZANIA on the 17th of July in 1989. When I was young, my parents divorced, leaving my sister and me behind with our grandmother. At the age of 7 I went to Mwanza to look for a better life, but where to go in such a strange big town. I didn’t have a place to sleep, but some street kids took me up to KULEANA, a centre for orphans and street children in Mwanza, where I grew up. I could go to primary school, but life was not easy at the centre. In 1999 I was lucky to meet mama Marga, she gave me shelter in Malimbe Family where I lived 4 years.
When I was 14 years I left for Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Again strolling in a big town, looking where to stay and to sleep, some street kids brought me to a centre called KIDS IN NEEDS. There I met Tanzanian staff that helped me to stay at that center. In the beginning I worked as a gatekeeper until they send me to secondary school. But it became clear that I loved drawing and painting more than studying. I met someone who became interested in my paintings and he helped me to join MICHELANGELO COLLEGE FOR CREATIVE ARTS. So here I was able to improve my artwork and gain more skills. When I finished and got my certificate of art and designs, I had the feeling that I had to visit my friends in Malimbe Family again. So I called Mama Marga and she was inviting me to drop in again. She was very happy to see me and I we had a lot of talking, also with my other friends in Malimbe. I talked with her about my art ambitions, art is my passion, it is the only thing I want to do. Marga offered me to look for support to be able to finish a diploma in Art and Designs.
Now I’m continuing my study on the Michelangelo College in Entebbe. Thanks to Marga and her friends, finances are arranged for school fees and artistic materials along with day-to-day expenses such as food and rent.
My dream is that on one day I will have a big art display in town, and have a nice art studio to teach others who have the same ambitions as I have. Another big dream is to have a shelter for myself and for my sister. I am here today welcoming every one into my heart to become part of my family. I need friends because they move mountains and they give ideas on what to do. God bless you all in everything you do and bless your families.