Mozambique: Mozambican Visual Artist Lizette Chirrime Starts Crowdfund for Urgent Medical Procedure

Cape Town — In 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Lizette Chirrime underwent successful, life-changing hip replacement surgery. Now doctors have revealed that the surgery was not as successful as initially thought, and this is threatening her life.

The self-taught multidisciplinary artist, according to Morton Arts, is well known for her “artistic work of combining textiles and found objects, in her symbolic abstract works – drawing inspiration from her journeys and dreams. Chirrime’s interplay between textiles and abstraction, as well as her palpable use of art as a therapeutic and spiritual tool, brings forth a reconfigured understanding of representation and human nature, using thread after colored thread to inspire hope and healing.”

Following a three-month residency at Greatmore Studios in Cape Town in 2005, she lived in South Africa until 2021, then returned to her native Mozambique. She has been featured in numerous galleries and museums such as Cape Town Art Fair, Kubatana, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorim, Norway, including a solo exhibition, Rituals for Soul Search, at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC.

In addition to her exhibitions, she has participated in Nando’s Artist Society, Nando’s Chicken Run, as well as Yellowwoods Art’s Creative Block programme.

But now, Chirrime is facing the greatest challenge of her life.

She is seeking help from friends, family, and kind-hearted donors to help pay for her operation in India.

Outlined on her GoGetFunding page, Chirrime said that in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, she underwent hip replacement surgery in South Africa and all was well until just over a year later when she began experiencing pain.

And after two years of constant pain and much research for relief, she was told that she needs to get another hip replacement.

“Blood tests revealed that my surgery had not been as successful as we originally thought. After extensive doctor visits and medical opinions, I was told that my hip bone was infected and another hip replacement would be necessary. I will need two surgeries over three months. Specialists in Mozambique warned me of the risks of having the surgeries done locally, and my surgeon in Cape Town said that my infection was so severe that they would likely need to amputate my leg. I was shocked and scared and fell into a deep pit of despair.”

The post goes on to describe why Chirrime is in need of extra support.

She added, “with the help of family and friends, I was able to transform my despair into determination to seek an alternative. After an extensive global search, I found a surgical centre with the technology and skill to heal my hip without amputation. The Yashoda Hospital in India is reputable, cost-effective, and able to do the surgery as soon as I can get there.”

Chirrime is now seeking to raise U.S.$25,000 which will cover the two surgeries, hospital stays, and post-surgery physiotherapy.

Her surgeon has urged her to come as soon as “humanly possible”, as the infection is severe and getting worse by the day. “The longer I wait, the higher the risk of it entering my bloodstream, causing a life-threatening condition called sepsis. I am also in chronic pain, which is weighing down my spirit, hindering my mobility, and keeping me from earning a living, she said.

A fundraiser was held in Cape Town recently, to help generate funds needed by Chirrime on her path to healing. The event had special performances, by the likes of the former lead singer of Freshlyground Zolani Mahola and Ernestine Deane. Ugandan storyteller Philippa Kagali-Kabwa served as the MC of the event.

If you are able to assist with a donation towards Lizette Chirrime’s surgery fund, we would greatly appreciate it.

Every little bit helps!


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