Mombasa girl,9, talented and gifted in visual art appeals for fees

Sheillah Sheldone presenting to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho his portrait. Photo/Ernest Cornel
Her visual artworks are superb, top-notch and in touch. Sheillah Sheldone, 9, is untrained but artistically incomparable to age-mates. Sheldone started drawing at age of six, her first painting – an elephant tusk.
The art “aficionado’s” skills sprout while at Diani International School.
Her drawings are not for sale. She does it for fun. “I feel happy when I’m drawing,” she says.
“Sometimes when I’m sad I can just look at my work and I feel happy. “Art drawing is a lucrative business overseas, fetching billions.
‘Saviour of the World’  was bought for Sh45.6 billion in New York in November, shattering the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold.
But Sheldone, a Grade Four student, cannot advance her education. Her parents cannot afford her fees.
Vivian Adhiambo, the mother, said she stopped schooling after her sponsor, a German, died in December.
“She was the one who schooled her since Grade One,” Adhiambo said.
Sheldone has drawn Kenya’s big names – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
There are also pieces of Kwale governor Salim Mvurya and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir.
“I was mentored by my teacher,” she says.
“While drawing, I think about my mom and how we live.”
Adhiambo, a correctional officer at Kenya Prison Service has undergone two surgeries that has kept her out of work for almost a year.
Her husband suffered a spinal-cord injury and can’t work.
“The German was our only hope in terms of school fees,” Adhiambo told the Star.
She said since Sheldone started at an international school, it will be difficult to integrate her with the local system.
“She has not been studying Kiswahili, a mandatory subject in a local system. To transfer her will be like a torture,” she said.
According to her, Joho promised to pay Sheldone’s fees if she was transferred to an “affordable” international school.
“I have been in touch with his personal assistant who is always insisting the fees structures I have been bringing are unmanageable,” she stated.
Adhiambo said she finally settled on Lights Academy Nyali whose fees is Sh106,000 per term.
This is exclusive of Sh16,000 for lunch, Sh20,000 transport, Sh32,000  uniform, Sh10,000 admission and Sh15,000 caution money.
Sheldone has composed a poem – ”What a Man” – heaping praise on Joho, calling him “my president” with hope he would advance her education.
“He (Joho) has done his part in building our nation, what can we say about him? He is our man… We remember the launching of flyover at Buxton and Ferry at Mtongwe, the enemy really fought you giving you all sort of funny names, but today I’m here to give you a name, a true fighter – daddy Joho,” she says in her self-composed poem.
“I believe you are brave, long live daddy. The talent that I have in drawing and modelling are all God-given and I wish to nature them. All that I’m asking from you is to make my dream come true.
“Please daddy Joho, you are my second hope after my beloved parents who are also in support.”
Sheldone told the star: “I would wish to go to school and nature my talent. I want to be an artist and a lawyer.”