Recently updated on October 24th, 2022 at 02:41 pm
Mariam Ayolola Kaka is a Senior Secondary School student of Olabisi Onabanjo University International School, Ogun State.
The organising charity group, Never Such Innocence, said no fewer than 4,000 entries were received from 44 countries, territories and dependencies from around the world.
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson in his letter dated June 15th commending Miss Mariam Ayolola Kaka and other contestants, said:
“You show me that, as we mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War, young people are paying far more attention than many would give credit for, and are determined to learn from our past.
You show me that you care about the impact of conflict, and I’ve thought long and hard about how you can use your voices to unite communities and nations.
Most of all you show me that you have the courage required to stand up in front of a crowd of strangers and with skill, passion and a command of our wonderful language – let the world know exactly what you are thinking.
That skill of self-expression, that art of persuasion, will always be the very best way of avoiding conflict, healing division and making this a better place for all of us. So please, keep thinking, keep writing, keep talking, and keep performing.”
“My drawing medium is oil on paper and it is A3 size. My inspiration came from the fact that the World War II was the deadliest in terms of global deaths, injured, wounded, incapacitated, disabled and traumatized casualties.
My inspiration was heightened when I saw the commonwealth war Graves as one of the second World War resource contents for a fight for freedom. Plus, Nigeria being a commonwealth nation.
I was excited to draw a war grave which is a burial place for members of the armed forces and civilians who died during the world War II. I also thought of armed forces remembrance day when wreath of flowers are laid in remembrance of fallen heroes and decided to draw a military man visiting war grave.
However, unknowingly to me I raised his left hand in salutation and my mum being a daughter of a retired police officer, seems to know a little about military and she told me that military officers salute with the right hand and she encouraged me to research it to be doubly sure.
My research made me know that the only time a military officer salutes with the left hand is when something is wrong with the right hand. The thought of a living war veteran came to mind and I decided to erase the long left hand I had already done and made the military man an amputee and a war veteran.
Thank God the title of my art piece also was not far fetched because of the war veteran who feels nostalgia visiting the grave of past colleagues and comrades to say old soldiers never die. They live on, and can never be forgotten. Hence, the birth of the title of my artwork – Nostalgic Salutation to the Fallen Heroes.”