When innocent meets fearless, it produces an unforgettable combination. The photograph of the soldier carrying the baby went viral and before it hit the newspapers around the world, Jasvir Panesar Kombo sitting in the UK was watching the Westgate attack story unfold when this photograph struck a chord with her.
Married and a mother of a doting daughter Jasvir (Bobby) instantly connected with what a mother would possibly be go through in such a difficult situation of trust and relief. Jasvir spent most of her childhood, primary and high school at the Visa Oshwal Girls Secondary School in Nairobi. She was born in the UK and due to permit reasons, she decided to go back to the UK in 1997 and start her career there. She currently works for an airline and gets to travel back to her favorite home, Nairobi frequently. She is the grand daughter of the legendary poet Sohan Singh Josh who left an indelible mark with his words and mostly pencil drawings. Thus the artist talent did catch up and she still remembers her art classes in school when her teacher Mrs Choda would tell her “I will throw you out of the window if you don’t get it right”. Perhaps her teacher saw her hidden talent and Jasvir says it’s all about her mood and no formal training just the passion to tell a story.
When she saw the photograph, she felt like she needed to express her grief, solidarity, her belief in Kenya, which she considers a beautiful country with amazing, loving and great people.
She found out about the attack when she woke up on Saturday 21st September and checked her Facebook page and saw messages coming in about an armed robbery that turned to be a different story in the unfolding hours. Finally she got to work with the painting and completed it in two days.
She says “the baby in the picture represents all the races of Kenya, soldier with a gun trust him as he is carrying both, there are people out there to show they care, Kenyans have always been promoting peace and love. This picture represented the whole love of Kenya.”