19 year old Firdaus Ahmed has since her childhood dreamt of being a star in art.
Despite strong criticism from her back yard, the young lady who is slowly finding where her interest has been never relented.
Ms Ahmed who turned her challenges into strength traversed the country searching for the best institution she can enrol to pursue her art after she completed her secondary education at Oshwal academy in Mombasa.
However she almost gave up after she found none of what she wanted.
“I applied for a place at Middlesex University in Dubai and I was successful called for an interview, I later enrolled for my degree in art at the university,” she says with a smile.
However it was not an easy journey to get to the Middle East based university following the criticism from some of her relatives and peers but Ms Ahmed never turned back, she remained focused.
“I never wanted to pursue a career for my parents but for myself and thank God both my parents are supportive,” she says.
She topped up her fine art with interior designing course.
Ms Ahmed who is currently locally practising what she loves most after the Covid-19 pandemic affected her syllabus abroad, has been doing fine art and was fully involved in painting the bright, education images at the Coast Provincial Referral Hospital along Tononoka area in Mombasa.
“My peers and especially Muslim women criticise me whenever am surrounded by men at work, but that’s my passion and art is my life, nothing would distract me,” she says.
[Men and Women at work! Firdaus Ahmed (right) with a colleague at work. Photo/Bakari Ali].
The young artist is however in admittance that the government is yet to facelift art as a serious career in the country.
She says Kenya is yet to make any tangible steps in ensuing there are higher learning institutions that offer fine art as a discipline to enable talented youth pursue and earn a living from their creativity.
“If no institution is offering art courses up to a higher level then you know there is squarely poor market and less or no jobs at all for those passionate about it,” added the talented young artist.
Ms Ahmed has challenged the government to venture into art and create all the necessary measures and space so that talented youth can pursue and make a living.
[Young female artist Firdaus Ahmed (Left) with her mother Asia Shariff. Photo/Bakari Ali].
On her part, her mother Asia Sharif is advising parents to support their children in pursuing and exploring their talents.
“If you force you children to do what you want instead of what they want, you are simply subjecting them to a very tough and complicated life,” says Asia.
Meanwhile Asia is calling on local leaders and especially women leaders to deliberate on career development dialogues so as to let the youth open up and accorded the necessary support to successfully pursue their interests in life.