Nearly two decades ago, an abandoned old bus that stood on top of a pile of scrap was home to Rozina Naz and her two children. Today, she is an accomplished artist known as Ustad Rozi Khan, who paints buses and trucks in the same neighborhood on Karachi’s outskirts.
Rozina became homeless when her husband died 19 years ago. She then moved her family into the old bus, taking up odd jobs to feed herself and her children. However, when she began visiting a painter’s shop years later, she realized buses like her home could be her canvas.
Speaking to Arab News, the artist said, “When my husband died, I had no one by my side. I found a bus that stood on a heap of scrap and started living there with my two children.”
“I did not give up,” she said. “I was thinking, this time will pass too. I did not want to spread my hands in front of anyone.”
Her life changed when she began visiting a painter’s shop to read newspapers after working all day.
She told a source, “The shop owner had two or three students. When they left for home, he would put their wages in their hands.”
“I thought, this is a good way to earn a living.”
Naz was good at drawing in school. She put these skills to work painting trucks. However, trucks are painted almost exclusively by men in Pakistan.
Naz added, “Many people would say, ‘You are a woman, and this line of work is not meant for you.’”
“But I told them, it is just another form of work, and it has nothing to do with my gender.”
“If someone makes these statements, I don’t pay attention and continue to do my work. I only think of my children.”
“My life became colorful when I started painting,” Naz said. “I fell in love with colors.”
“It has been 19 years since I started painting. I still work in this small neighborhood, and I can sketch any design,” Rozina continued proudly.
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