I google-imaged 'Rwanda' and was disturbed to see their photos. 90% of them were of refugees and death and war. That is not what Rwanda is. That was what happened to it. When I was younger when I hear the word Rwanda all I thought was a picture of a bomb shelled landscape, smokes fuming from the ground and people crying holding on to earth and blue green messy camps being set up for refugees. I didn't like the thought of it.
Simon is from Rwanda and he asked me do a painting for him, a massive size painting, something he said that would remind him of his country. He did not ask me to draw povertyor the poverty-stricken people. He did not ask me to draw something that provoked people to 'help' Rwandan. What he wanted was something very different. Something I didn't know about the country. Something he loved about Rwanda. A green landscape with thatched house and rolling hills. And trees and banana trees and green and green.
It is my personal thought, but Rwandans don't want to see their nation represented by poverty and death anymore. (Though sometimes truth and fact are just be hard to face and express as much as they need to be). But Rwandans should be given another chance to reminisce and be proud of what they have now. Every nation has something to rejoice about, something to be proud about. For one, I'd like to see their green hills and sit under their thatched roof house and hear the cackling laughter echo throughout the valleys. I'd like to smell the burning wood and huddle for warmth, listening to the thunder and rain outside. I had a memory somewhat like that, that I am happy to recall. To hear tales of gorillas and fishing adventures.
Those are beautiful pictures. Those are images that people should know about Rwanda. That Rwanda deserves.