However, the week before saw Waiuku artist, Rosalie Niu, present her with the best gift of all—a mural of South Africa. Rosalie’s artwork can be found all around Waiuku, with her biggest piece located in the Kentish Hotel.
Mona’s mural took 193 hours to complete, and consists of five panels featuring her favourite African animals. Rosalie, who paints as a hobby, says the mural would have to be her favourite completed so far.
“I put in a bit of kiwiana in there as well. It was a real pleasure to be able to do this for Mona, as I have never forgotten my trip to South Africa.”
“The colours, the animals, they are still ingrained in my mind. I am glad Mona can now have a little piece of home right in her backyard,” she said.
“I love it, it is beautiful. It is a tiny bit of Africa right here in New Zealand. It is my 80th birthday, and I got exactly what I wanted. I am so happy,” said Mona.