Maia (pronounced my-ee-uh) means midwife, nurse, or mother and my parents say I was appropriately named. I’m a nurturer. I want people around me to not only be happy but to have a sense of belonging, which is why in my art I give space to those who are constantly being told they don’t belong.
My easygoing nature and left-handedness is where the name “HappyGoLefty” (a play on the phrase happy go lucky) came from. “Vuyani” means happiness or to be happy in Xhosa (a South African language spoken by approximately 8,000,000 people). Though much of my art portrays the struggles of individual people, I want to leave a constant reminder that it’s okay to smile in spite of.