"I cannot bear to say what I saw and heard," says Chinwe. "My best friend Nwabulachi and hundreds of children were killed. Food was scarce. The market women bravely set up food stalls under large trees. The planes swooped overhead and rained bombs on them."
Chinwe survived, only to be struck down by a life-threatening illness, which was eventually diagnosed as a neuromuscular disease. A series of injections saved her life. From her earliest years, she wanted to be an artist, but art was not taught in Nigeria at that time. She travelled to England in 1975 and successfully completed a course in graphic design at Hornsey College of Art, after which she married and settled in England.
With two young sons to look after, Chinwe painted portraits of friends and family. She works in oil and pastels and sculpts in clay. Then she met Kriss Akabusi, the world famous sports gold medallist, and painted his portrait. What followed was a series of successes. Now she has achieved the highest honour in portrait painting. In 2001, Chinwe was commissioned to paint a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.
The story on page 7 is adapted from Chinwe Roy - Artist by Verna Wilkins (Tamarind, pound;6.99). Other titles in the same series include: Benjamin Zephaniah - Poet and Malorie Blackman - Author.