Picture this, at only 12 years old, and you have brushed shoulders with high and mighty. From President Uhuru Kenyatta to his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni as well as other politicians such as ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
This is true in the case of Sidney Sheldon, whose talent in art has earned her a seat at the high table. From dining with two seating presidents to winning global awards, Sheldon has essentially made great strides in her career.
The KCPE candidate at Light International School, intimated at a past interview that she practices for hours in order to perfect her craft.
"My mother, Vivianne Adhiambo, noticed my talent when I was at the age of five years. She was surprised when she was my art and requested that I draw her. Afterwards, she began supporting me," she stated.
However, her mother, who serves as security officer, couldn't afford funds to buy the materials required.
Their fate, however, changed when her paintings caught the eye of President Kenyatta in 2018 during her State House visit. This led to the Head of State offering a full scholarship to both her and her sibling.
She was later invited by President Museveni to his home in Rwakitura over the April holidays in 2019 after she impressed him during his tour to Kenya a few months prior.
“My muzukulu from Mombasa, Sheila Sheldon Charles, visited me in Rwakitura with her mother as we agreed she would, when I met her during my recent state visit to Kenya.
"Sheldon is a visual artist. In Mombasa, she offered me a painting and requested to visit me during the Easter holidays,” Museveni stated on his Facebook page.
The talented artist was also christened Sheila a Luo name, Atieno, by the Ugandan President as she was born at 8pm.
"Her mother told me that she was born at 8pm, therefore the Luo name we agreed to give her is Atieno. I thank President Uhuru Kenyatta for supporting her education given that her parents were unable. “Talent of whatever form should be nurtured alongside formal education. I thank her for the gifts she brought me,” he stated.
The 12-year-old was honoured at the Young, Gifted & Black Entrepreneurial Awards where she won the 2021 Artistic Excellence Award in Art & Design. The award was an addition to her stellar records.
In January 2021, she won the Global Child Prodigy Award in New Delhi, India. In 2018, she won the youngest Lioness Award by Tese Foundation.
She is currently set to represent Kenya and African continent in the World Painting competition slated to be held at Kosovo on November 15, 2021.