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Mary

I am Mary Wamboi and I was born in 1973 in Huruma. I sustained a serious leg injury in my youth, but I was the first-born and am the breadwinner. I attended school up to Standard 8 and am still responsible for my younger brother who continues his studies.

I am HIV positive and knew my status in 2005. I was in Nyayo Ward at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and on my way to death. However I was treated successfully, put on a nutrition program and referred to AMPATH's Family Preservation initiative in 2006. I gained part-time employment in the pottery department at Imani Workshops.

I have 2 children, a 20 year old daughter and a 16 year old son. I am single and live in Eldoret. My home was burnt down in the post election violence, and I am a former Internal Displaced Person (IDP). I now rent a house after being employed by Imani. I am doing well and a successful applicant of the Imani Artist Collective in February 2009. I would like to do more art. Thank you because I was thinking that being HIV+ is the end of my life but I thank God for artists to come and teach us more and more.

“When I start to search for a picture to paint my emotions feel busy and my head fills with ideas. Sometimes, when I feel sad or tired I am not in the mood to paint. Oil paint can make me crazy like I am drinking alcohol! But the same paint inspires me.”

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