, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – NYAHURURU, Kenya, Nov 8 – A 36-year-old Italian woman who was born without both her arms is in Kenya to give motivational talks on facing life’s challenges.
Simona Atzori arrived in the country over the weekend to motivate the physically challenged people and give motivational speeches to various institutions around Nyahururu.
Ms Atzori who is a professional dancer, painter and a motivational speaker addressed a mammoth crowd that turned up for the meeting at the Effatha Childrens’ Home in Nyahururu town on Sunday.
She observed that everyone has a role to play in assisting people living with disability so that they feel appreciated and loved. She added that unless such people are shown love and empowered to use their disability to achieving their success, most of them would continue living a desolate life.
Ms Atzori said it was the responsibility of all members of the society to support the physically challenged to enable them feel wanted and contribute in nation building.
“I was actually born this way but both my parents and siblings did not see it as a disability. It was very interesting as a I grew up in school since most of my friends would try to write with their legs the way I was doing it,” she said.
Despite being “armless” she performs virtually everything done by anybody else with hands.
“I do almost everything with my legs. Actually if I would be given those arms today I wouldn’t know what to do with them. I’m ok the way I am,” she pointed.
The motivational speaker started painting and dancing at a tender aged of four to the surprise of her parents. And at the age of six, she made her first art exhibition.
To sharpen her artistic skills she was enrolled at the International Association of Mouth and Foot Painters (VDMFK). She holds a degree in Fine Arts.
The moment that defined her artistic career was when she presented the late Pope John Paul II with his portrait in March 1992, making her work not only recognised in her native country but also worldwide.
Ms Atzori is accompanied by her boyfriend of 10 years Andrew Liocci and their itinerary includes visits to Ol-Kalou Home for the disabled, Nyahururu GK prison, Laikipia University College and Kenyatta University in Nairobi among other institutions during her stay in the country.
She is hosted by Nyahururu-based St Martins Catholic Social Apostolate.