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Colorful beads adorn a mask of bereaved expression by Abdul Aziz Mohamadu. "Among the Hausa people of Nigeria, such masks are given to a widow or widower," he explains. "They believe the spirit of the mask will give the bereaved person a large heart to deal with the pain of loss. Anytime he or she sets eyes on this mask, the grieving one will get some inner peace." Mohamadu carves the African rubberwood mask by hand and adorns it with recycled glass beads. He names the piece Zurufi, a Hausa word meaning "Deep Heart."
Abdul has four children of his own and and cares for an additional four. All eight children live with him and he treats them all as his own.
Abdul has a dream of establishing an art academy for carving and sharing the African culture that is so closely tied to wood carving. So far, he has trained over 30 people but hopes that number can grow to be in the hundreds with an academy.
Since he started working with NOVICA, he has been able to grow his business. Through NOVICA and his determination, every day he gets a little closer to his goal of empowering and training others in carving.
Abdul financially supports the education of his own four children and the four other children that live with him.