Mbegu | Jaini’s Art Diaries

If you’ve been a regular on Jaini’s Diaries, then you know how obsessed I am with elephants. I guess you also know how much I love Mbegu – my adopted baby elephant from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage.

So obviously, when I visited Mbegu, I had asked Diva to take a few snaps that I could use to help me paint her, something that I had wanted to do ever since I had adopted her. To celebrate my baby’s second birthday, I present to you Mbegu, painted in oil over an acrylic marbled background.

What do you think of the painting? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so tell me below.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MBEGU! ❤️ I can’t believe that she’s growing up so quickly #ProudMamma

Painting Mbegu was so self-fulfilling, especially when I reflect on her painful backstory before she arrived in the safe hands at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant nursery.

Mbegu was found in the Naibunga Conservancy at Ol Lentille. She was orphaned due to a complicated situation where an elephant, as a result of killing  a woman from the local community, was shot dead by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The young calf got left behind in the chaos that ensued with the angry, stampeding herd. Given the dire circumstances, there was very little chance of her rejoining the herd.

The angry community of Kimanjo had set up upon taking revenge on this baby based on what the elephant had done, and they speared her several times. She took refuge in the nearby school grounds where the local children began stoning her. A local Naibunga Conservancy warden, Peter, came to the calf’s rescue and alerted the DSWT rescue team who immediately started working to bring the calf to the nursery. Peter was the only barrier between the tiny, traumatized calf and the local community baying for her blood in retaliation for the recent events.

If you’d like to know more on what I think of the poaching and human-elephant conflict crisis, check out my thoughts here: https://jainisdiaries.com/2015/12/11/she-deserves-a-safe-world/

The DSWT rescue team faced a grueling time, attending to the calf’s injuries while communicating with the locals explaining things as they prepared for the journey back to the safety of the DSWT Nursery in Nairobi National Park.

It took the whole day to get the calf in the safety of now her ‘family’. Because of her tiny and sweet nature, the DSWT team named her Mbegu, which translates to a tiny seedling in Kiswahili.

Quite a touching story, eh?

To find more information on David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, head to the official DSWT website: https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

You can contact me here if you would like to commission a bespoke work of art for your home, office or institution.




  1. Jaini, you never cease to amaze me.. be it your art work, your writing, your courage and now your act of humanity!! So proud of you. Keep it up. Absolutely love the painting

    Liked by 1 person

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