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Alotau: His paintings are “not too good, not too bad, but just Good Enough!” as Gerald Fofolu expresses it with a smile. Contracting polio at an early age, this young man now is making ends meet with his paintings as a gifted artist.

The 21 year old comes from a mixed parentage of the Trobriand and Good Enough Islands in the peaceful Milne Bay Province. Proving to others that he was capable to attend school despite his disability, Gerald completed his grade 10 at Santa Maria High School.

As his heart was in the arts, this young man continued painting after completing his grade 10 in 2006. Gerald is well known for his talent and good nature on the island of Good Enough and has contributed immensely in going back to help volunteer and teach students from Watuluma High School.

Getting inspiration from other artists in the province such as Dickson Lige and Enoch Kiluma, Gerald is certain to make his mark. This person with disability looks deeper down in himself to paint about his diverse and rich heritage of his environment to put his expressions in color on boards.

Since the establishment of a Disabled Persons Organization in Alotau in March last year, Gerald has moved to the province’s center to sell his paintings. He has made remarkable progress with his paintings being sold to Alotau International Hotel, Bay Cabs, Alotau Christain Bookshop including delivering his services to Cameron Secondary School, Alotau General Hospital and countless individuals.

“I would love to teach what I have learnt over the years in painting and illustrations to others. I would like to be a teacher,” says Gerald. “With my talent, people overlook my disability and see the beauty I create each time with my paint and brush.”

Some of the best artists deal with disabilities in their everyday lives that the rest of us cannot even imagine living with, and use art to communicate with the world. The results are often stunning.

Some of these artists have been marveled for ages such as Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch Painter and is regarded as one of the greatest painters the world has ever seen. Van Gogh suffered from mental illness.

Against all odds, these persons with disabilities look beyond the horizons of their disabilities to see the beauty of their ability that make history.  

More and more Papua New Guineans are breaking barriers in our traditional societies in making inspiring stories. Gerald Fofolu, is no exception as a young artist from Milne Bay Province.

With a determination and strong left hand, Gerald smiles and looks forward to contributing to the development of his province in projects that anyone can include him.

Gerald Fofolu is currently freelancing in Alotau, Milne Bay Province and would love to work with anyone who needs his assistance in the arts. Gerald can be contacted in the address provided.

Gerald Fofolu, Gifted Art & Design, Good Enough, P O Box 74 Alotau, Milne Bay Province. Phone: 7008 9828

Let us give persons with disabilities such as Gerald an opportunity to contribute to development with their talents.