by Leon Lester
Plastic and Paper and Purified Water
40 x 15 x 15cm
This sculpture is a sample of a product that I have produced designed to combat deadly viruses to humans such as COVID-19. It is inspired by the work of the now deceased president of Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza who recently died from the COVID-19 virus. Nkurunziza was a born-again Christian and murderous despot who during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in his country, proclaimed his country safe from coronavirus because he negotiated divine protection from the pandemic for the country. The President said he “signed a special covenant with God, whether you believe it or not” telling his people during the pandemic that God had purified the country’s air. “We are in agreement that this COVID-19 will not come near our dwelling or our church family. We are praying daily for you, knowing that we are all protected by the Blood of Jesus.” As a result, the President encouraged mass gatherings, dismissed the need for masks and expelled the representative of the World Health Organisation. Despite the deal Pierre Nkurunziza negotiated with God to protect his country, COVID-19 struck the President’s own family and Nkurunziza himself fell ill with symptoms of coronavirus. When he died, the government attributed the death of the 55-year-old to a heart attack. Diplomatic and media sources in Burundi confirmed the actual cause of death as COVID-19.