The missing artist

Naz was a special son.

He was different – quiet, caring and always wearing a big cheeky smile that would warm your heart.

I miss him waking me up on the weekends with a coffee or breakfast, begging me to watch a movie or just start the day. He had a zest for life and would never let me sleep in. I don’t know why but, once he’d forced me out of bed, Naz would often head straight back to his bedroom and paint.

He would spend hours working on his art, which was how he communicated his unique view of the world and society.

I still have his paintings on the walls throughout this house – in the lounge room, in the rumpus room. I love having them there and the way they make me feel like he is still with us. I look at his paintings, flick through his sketchbook and try to figure out why he disappeared.

The last 18 months have been really tough. The first Christmas without him we couldn’t celebrate, the second one we tried to but I couldn’t stop crying. We’re a small family and it’s really hard to be ourselves again.

If anyone knows anything, come forward.

It doesn’t matter what information you have – good or bad – please come forward. It might not seem like something big or important, but it might be.

Right now, we’re living in darkness. Time goes by and I’m scared he might be forgotten.

This is not a story, this is real life – he was my baby and now I don’t know where he is.

I think back to my favourite memory of him. We took him to MONA in Hobart and he was looking at all the weird and wonderful art, unable to contain his excitement. “WHAT THE HELL! WHAT THE HELL!” he was shouting, and everyone in the museum was looking over at him.

It warms my heart to think back to that moment, and to see Naz standing there with his big cheeky smile.

- Told by Hirut Woldemichael, 2018

Hirut’s son Nazrawi (Naz) was last seen on 9 October 2016 in North Hobart, Tasmania. He was 20 years old at the time.

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