17-03-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
Just as when you leave Africa, perhaps painfully just because life takes you elsewhere, Africa remains inside and its presence becomes even stronger than before, so when a father loses a son prematurely, not only does he remain his father forever, but his memory is more alive than ever.
Luigi Corticelli, a well-known face in Malindi, where he was a long-time resident, lost his son Manuel, here in Kenya, exactly one year ago. Suddenly, at only 45 years of age, he died of a heart attack. It was an immense grief at a time when the pandemic was beginning, depriving Luigi not only of his father's love, but also of his love for Kenya. So he invented a way to have Manuel always close by, in his thoughts and his African sickness. He specialises in 'digital watercolours', computer processing of Kenyan photos that friends send him or that he finds on the net, respecting copyright.
Sometimes he prints them, frames them and sells them so that he can send help to Manuel's partner and the daughter he used to father.
"During this year I have tried to grieve and not be overwhelmed by grief, sadness and depression," Luigi tells us, "and I have found comfort in inventing the so-called 'digital watercolours', with topics and photos of Kenya, and in affixing a dedication to each print. Every time I add a sentence, a poetic verse, a thought, they make me feel closer to him and alleviate some of the great sadness in my heart, even though it takes enormous strength to overcome all this and continue to live".
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