Showing posts with label Creativity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creativity. Show all posts

On The First Ongala Music Festival Heaven Shed Tears Of Joy.


Dr. Remmy Ongala was undeniably a Tanzanian music icon. He was a well-known musician in East Africa since the 80s and was deeply mourned when he passed on in 2010. It is said that when he passed on, his bongo beat music was played on Tanzanian radio stations nonstop. He was so popular that an area of his home district in Dar es Salaam was named after him.

It, therefore, came naturally for his daughter Aziza Ongala to want to do something for her Dad. In an interview, she had at an online radio show called Underground pride , Aziza said organizing the festival is something she felt she had to do.

Early this year she decided this would be the year to commemorate her father. So she set everything else aside to focus on curating the festival. And I think I speak for most when I say she did an awesome job.


The Main Stage

Ongala Music Festival was a 3-day music affair. It was held in Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam at Malaika Beach Club from the 23rd to the 25th of August. Twenty of us traveled from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam in Dar Lux, a bus company which also happened to be a sponsor of the festival. They had such impeccable customer service, super comfortable seats and an awesome movie collection to keep us entertained during the 16 hour trip.



It was a surreal experience to travel with some of the Kenyan artists that were scheduled to perform at the first Ongala Music Festival. Other than the good vibes they emitted during the conversations, we also got serenaded by some smooth guitar tunes and improvised songs.

Staying at Malaika beach club meant we had access to the beach anytime we wanted. So while the rest of us enjoyed the warmth of the morning sun while in the tents and lengthened our sleep, some of our friends went out jogging on the beach.


On the first night preceding the main event, we had DJs and a few Afro-Fusion artists play music on a mini 'Nyumbani' stage next to a bonfire. One of the DJs only played old school reggae music on vinyl and we were so thrilled that we started dancing under the stars. People took turns to rekindle the fire everytime it tried to die down. We threw dried palm tree leaves into the fire in turns like we had a schedule or something.


The Mini 'Nyumbani' Stage

Our tents were pitched a stone throw away so circumstances forced us in on the fun. But who is complaining? Unless you were a log, I don't see how you could sleep with all that feel-good music playing in the background. No wonder we stayed up till around 4 a.m most nights. It mostly depended on when the DJ would say enough is enough.


On the second night of the festival, it rained. This was something no one had expected so it threw many off balance. My theory is this: Remmy must have been moved to tears by what Aziza, his family, and friends had organized in his memory. Therefore, the Tanzanian skies joined Remmy in solidarity.

Due to those showers of blessing, the show ended early. The next day, the East African artists performed with an extra oomph. No one was taking anything for granted, neither the artists nor the audience. We were more than grateful for the clear skies and for the opportunity to be part of the first-ever Ongala Music Festival.


Papillon on stage

Goosebumps would run up and down my body when different artists went on stage. From Fadhilee to Mandela and then from Papillon to Swahili Ally just to mention a few. It was electric performance after electric performance. Occasionally, some of the audience members would get touched and jump on stage to cheer the artists on by dancing on stage. One even went up to help Fadhilee wave a flag in solidarity with Bobi Wine, a Ugandan musician, and politician who was arrested in his country.



I got to attend a couple of workshops at the festival too. The first workshop I attended was on music management facilitated by Liberian born Raphael Benza. It was eye opening and shed light on how artist management works and how people like me who are interested in helping artists boost their online platform can join the team of the many people behind artists' success.

As my first time in Dar es Salaam, Ongala Music Festival was a wholesome experience. Other than it being a chance to enjoy rich East African music, you also got a chance to be on vacation, learn about music and new cultures, make new friends, have fun and be happy. Just like Remmy Ongala would have wanted.

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7 Quick, Interesting Facts You Should Know About IGTV.



By now I'm guessing you've heard about IGTV, and maybe watched some videos on it. If not, not to worry: you are about to learn some very interesting facts about it. For starters, as the name suggests, IGTV simply stands for Instagram Television - a television for the mobile generation.

Here are 7 more things you need to know about this new Instagram update.



1. IGTV is like Instagram's YouTube for mobile.

The main difference is that its videos are meant to be shot and edited vertically. That means the end result will not force the user, which is you and me, to rotate our phones in order for us to enjoy the experience.

2. Its focus is on awesome phone user experience.

More and more people are going online on their phones today than they were a decade ago. Plus it's also getting cheaper and cheaper to do so. We do not need statistics to prove that; the evidence is everywhere, from your 5-year-old nephew who can find and launch a game app on your phone to your 80-year old grandpa who texts you using WhatsApp.

It was very prudent of the Instagram team to come up with IGTV because the future is mobile and the future is here. User experience is always key to online businesses which are keen on making a good impression on their users. 

It would be great if we all took a leaf from Instagram's bold move to make the right kind of changes to our own brands. I, for instance, will be launching a more user-friendly and mobile responsive website soon, so watch out for it.

3. It is downloadable and updateable.

IGTV comes both as a standalone phone app and as a video section on the main Instagram app(once updated). Now, I bet I am not the only one who often runs out of space on my phone. The fact that they thought of people like us is just super. All we need to do is update our Instagram app and voila, we are well on our way to creating our very first IGTV channel.

4. It has a clickable link.

If you have been using links on your Instagram business page bio, you know how hard it is to get people to leave their feed and open your profile to click on it. I am speaking for those of us who are yet to reach 10,000 followers in order to be able to use the swipe up feature in our IG stories.

On IGTV, the playing ground is leveled for brands and businesses, whether they have less than 1000 followers or more than 10,000 followers. Now anyone can add a clickable link in the description of their IGTV video. How cool is that?

5. IGTV supports longer videos.

Instagram stories is said to have been started in order to prep users for IGTV. If you have used Instagram stories, you know how annoying it gets at times because you can only upload 15 seconds of a video at a time.

At the moment, you can upload a maximum of 60 minutes if you have a following of 10,000 and above, and a maximum of 10 minutes if you have a following less than that on IGTV. Whichever way you look at it, that is a major improvement from what we are used to. This is even said to be subject to change in the near future to allow us to post a limitless amount of video time.

6. IGTV can share videos directly to WhatsApp.

We all know the vast number of people using WhatsApp today, I mean even our grandparents use it. Thanks to this upgrade, you will be able to share your IGTV videos outside of Instagram to any Facebook-owned platform - that includes WhatsApp and Facebook itself. This ability to easily share videos from IGTV will just continue to blow up the impact the platform is bound to have on the future of video consumption.

7. Instant video playback and a feature that remembers where you left off.

This means as soon as you open IGTV, videos will start playing. If you happen to leave the video for a while, you will also be able to be directed back to where you left off in order to finish watching the video.

If you are a content creator then it would be wise to make your video super interesting, informative, short and sweet. That way people will watch it till the end and you will leave a great impression that will make the same people watch out for your next videos.

Before I go, it is important to note that IGTV will give creators a chance to showcase their creativity in an environment that is free from advertisements, since the platform is currently not showing any. If you're interested in the future of video consumption, I believe this is the time to join the platform in order to learn and grow before it gets saturated and advertisements start showing. It is also said that just like YouTube, the platform will also develop a way to compensate its content creators. I hope these quick facts have given you the confidence to start your own IGTV channel.

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Experiencing The Synergy Of Sama Eden



21/1/18

The soothing music draws you in. The place looks really different from the last time you were here. It feels like it was just the other day, but it's not. India happened and it's 4 months later.

That's The Alchemist bar for you.  You wonder if you are the only one who asks yourself if its name was inspired by Paulo Coelho's book. Also, you think of how you really need to reread his book - it was an ocean of wisdom.
 It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon, around 1 p.m and the place is buzzing with activity. You meet Sarah at the entrance. Her warm hug welcomes you in. You are already soaking in all the awesomeness that the merging of the two brands, Sama Paints and the Eden Yard, have manifested.

The vendors are all set, some are talking to curious art enthusiasts. The rest of the crowd is just chilling, jamming to the awesome music that drew you in just a while ago. The vibe in this place is so good.
I mean, but what do you expect with such music and dope vendors like Zero By Zawadi who have yoga inspired merchandise right there for you to marvel at.


Photo credit: Zero by Zawadi

You fall in love with Zawadi's Sayaris; they are the African version of harem pants, that can also be worn as jumpsuits. And what's even doper, they are unisex! 

You try on 2 purple ones thanks to Faith a former classmate in a Creative Entrepreneurship class you attended last year. She works with Zawadi now.

Zawadi, also has some lovely yoga mat holders. You itch to ask the question, why yoga? And when you finally yield to the urge, she tells you that yoga and meditation have had a huge impact in her life. You don't wanna probe, even though that statement leaves you even more curious.  
You meet Edmond and he mentions that you look familiar. He is a vendor too and he is there with Santana Monda, the owner of House of Sahara. They have lovely furniture but you fall in love with this cutie; she's perfect for your bedroom.  You hope your pesky siblings will finally read and obey.




After a couple of minutes, you remember where you met Edmond. He was the youngest vendor at the Art In The Wild event at Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters 2 years ago.

You catch up and find out some really interesting stuff about him. Stuff like his decision to stop watching telly and how consequently his photographic memory has improved so much that he can draw a friend from memory. You pick his contacts and promise to keep in touch. His story should one day feature here.

Artfordable Kenya

Speaking of stories you meet these really passionate guys. They strive to make beautiful art affordable, thus the name of their brand. Teddy Ngando from Artfordable Kenya is keen on explaining to you how they create their intricate prints out of wood cuttings.

What fascinates you the most out of their story, is that they get their raw material for free from local workshops. They basically upcycle waste MDF(Medium Density Fibreboard) pieces by engraving the designs they want on them, applying ink on them and finally transferring the print on to paper. Clearly, anything is possible under the sun.


Fun Games 

At around 2.30pm, people start playing board games. You join in on the fun and learn a couple of new games - only you forget to ask what the games are called. While playing, you meet this little girl who is so full of life. She joins you and your female friend and you both have a blast watching her say she won every time.

You like how free her guardian seems, she too has a playful spirit. She hula hoops a couple of times next to the person singing at the stage, and she calls your little friend to join her.

Freestyling

You meet Max from the rock band Rash and exchange pleasantries. You were in campus together. He too is asked to go and play the guitar for a bit. Muthoni the Drummer Queen is also in the house. She is just here to chill. Later during the day, you spot her playing with one of the vendors' kid. So sweet.

More people are encouraged to go and sing on the stage. Anyone can go and at some point Edmond answers the call. You like how comfortable  he looks on stage. Talk about being grounded.

Grounded by Bree


Other than helping, you feel grounded and one with mother nature via the plants in her beautifully designed pots. Bree also contributes to the environment by recycling those big old plastic soda bottles and using cement to come up with the creamish-white flower pots you can see above. Here's to staying ever present to our connection to mother nature.

Thank you for staying present with me this long. I hope you've felt the richness of what was The Sama Eden January edition 2018. Lots more things went down and this is only a sample of the whole experience. More opportunities are coming up for you to experience all this awesomeness in person. I sure hope to see you there next time.

Until then,
Ciao!




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Meet Wanja: Learn How Her Simple Artistic Idea Won 100 Grand





She and I have lived in the same neighborhood and known each other since we were kids, yet for some reason I never knew she could draw until recently. See I was scrolling through my facebook feed and that's when I saw it...

It, was a picture of Wanja receiving a 100 grand dummy cheque from a mentor at the BLAZE Summit Eldoret edition. I was as surprised as I was happy for her.
  
In the interview below Wanja tells us about her journey as an artist which started more than a decade ago. The reasons why she took a couple of breaks in between, how she met some influential people thanks to her craft and the icing on the cake what idea won her 100 grand.


Meet Wanja Wa Wangeci and let's dive into her artistic world for a bit, shall we? Happy swimming 🏊. 

WAI stands for Wendi Art IT.



WAI: When did you discover you have artistic talent?


Wanja: In 2004 when I was in class 4, you get these maps that you are told to draw ... Yeah, I used to draw them so well that my friends would make me draw for them. That's when I realized, I was the artist in the class. It all started from there, then I started drawing cartoons.



WAI: That was Primary school did you move on to study art?


Wanja: No no, in fact I actually stopped drawing at some point, because I thought of it as just a hobby, something you do for fun. So I started again in 2016, when I joined an art school at Kasarani. I learnt about the school via facebook and since I was still in Eldoret, I joined the art school properly early this year when I was in for my holidays. I'm in my final year studying entrepreneurship at Moi University



WAI: What type of art do you like creating?


Wanja: I like drawing cartoons and creating charcoal and pencil art pieces. I do portraits too it's a way I use to maintain myself in campus. I draw for people and sell.





WAI: How do you market your artwork?

Wanja: I use facebook a lot and when I'm in a gathering where my friends are, I introduce myself as an artist. At school I subsidize the prices and the students are my main customers. They order, then come and buy from me and life moves on.





Continue Reading

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Art and Poetry : The Irony of He vs SHe



Flashback: I am 12 and as my girlfriends buy sanitary towels and slowly adjust their wardrobes to the changes happening to their bodies, a different kind of change is happening to my own.

I am not comfortable talking to you about it but my voice is changing. Now I definitely have to say something. It's either that or I remain mute for the rest of my life and even so, it will be a short lived solution.

So here goes, but before I say anything let me make one thing clear, I was born a girl.

I'm a Guevodoce which translates to the growth of the male genitalia at 12. They also refer to me as a Machihembra meaning first a woman then a man.

This is the story of many young children in the Dominican Republic.
Young girls who grow up to become boys.



The Art and Poetry event on Masculinity vs Femininity reminded me of this. Hosted by Ink Overflow, it took place at the Micheal Joseph Center Nairobi on the 18th of June. 

If you got a chance to read what I wrote on the one they did on beauty you'd understand why I was excited  and had to make it for the next one.

Masculinity and femininity is more dual than we realize. A single person can be both masculine and feminine. 

Actually biologically we all have a bit of both in us. The sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are found in everyone; the only difference is that they are found in different proportions.

That is the main issue the Ink Overflow team sort to address this time round. Many other issues that arise when we start categorizing people according to their genders were addressed by the performances we were graced with too. Having arrived a little late I will sample the few I got to watch.


Shikkiey on Feminism

The lights went off when she came on the stage. Then she did a couple of intense dance moves that totally caught my attention. She was joined by another lady who I later found out is called Seise. They recited some of the pieces in sync almost instinctively which was very impressive.

Shikkiey brought to light the fact that there is a difference between feminism and toxic feminism. She took us back to the 1980's during the onset of feminism. It became as a result of the fact that men assumed all power and were reluctant to give women a chance to air their grievances.



It was and should continue being a space for women to come and speak about issues. Issues such as voting  and participating in sports which not too long ago women were not allowed to participate in.

Thus feminism is meant to give hope for a better tomorrow to women rather than spread hate for men.She made it evident that we don't gain by fighting wrong with wrong or hate with hate. In fact we lose. The agenda is what matters than the title womanist, activist or feminist.

She finished her performance by saying, " What a man can do. a woman can do differently not necessarily better. In a world where only women exist the human race would be extinct and if men are trash then women are ashtrays"


Tetu Shani on Father's Day 

He was the surprise artist and boy was the crowd ecstatic. He lived up to and even exceeded expectations if all the applause he got after his performance was anything to go by.

 He started by wishing all the father's in the room a happy father's day. He went on to point out the fact that there are very few songs about fathers.

The few he knew had a not so perfect image of dads. Such as Queen Ifrica's Daddy Don't Touch Me There and Luther Vandross' Dance With My Father.

He told us that maybe the reason he had not written a song about his Dad was because he was not perfect. Then he posed a question to the crowd. Do we just celebrate perfect? Immediately after that he sang a song about his Dad titled An Ode to Pa

He owned the stage and engaged the audience with ease. I still remember joining the crowd chanting ladidadida  mbamba  to one of his songs. It was truly an experience and a half, not forgetting his epic whistling and beatboxing skills.

FUN FACT: Tetu Shani got a scholarship to Berklee College of Music to study performance, but he turned it down. A really bold decision. Echoing his words he explained " Why go where the sun is setting when the Kenyan sun is rising. There are many opportunities here right now and Berklee will always be there but when a window is open it's not open forever"


Abu Sense on 
 Woman is To Man What Man Isn't
x


He was the headlining act. His first performance was out of this world. He impersonated a Jamaican boy occasionally behaving like a Jamaican woman in this case his mother. His patwa sounded like the real deal. I even got lost a couple of times but I did not care much. His gestures and body movements were hilarious enough to keep me attentive.

His next piece was about gender and gender roles. He spoke of the way we have worked tirelessly to come up with a measure of manliness or womanliness. It's main component has been comparison to one another, meaning individuality is totally exterminated.

He told us about his experience living in multiple households and having learnt the most from the mothers and the daughters. As opposed to fathers and sons who are reclusive and had to play the role to appear wise.

The ladies embraced life to the fullest and if there happened to be tomboy, he would be accepted and plugged in both worlds. Notice the use of the pronoun he, I believe that it was used deliberately. I believe there is power in embracing both your feminine and masculine sides, because she is he and he is she for they contain each other.


As the performances came to an end. Kaatoony was at the back doing his thing.With his  permission I got to take a short video of the whole process. That along with the picture of a happy client. Watch out for his interview and the video.

Thanks to Ivan Irakoze and the Ink Overflow team for yet another successful event. To all that performed we loved you. To those I missed out on I look forward to watching you next time. Until next time.

AA (Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya

Photo credits:

@IAmNickJyalus
@InkOverflow








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Inside Out: Inspiration For The Creative Process



Sometimes feeling bad emotionally is the best thing that can happen to you. It took me a while to soak this fact up.

Eat, love and pray is a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert who drew inspiration from a messy divorce, and the result was 10 million copies sold.

Just like joy, all the other emotions we experience as humans are essential for the whole human experience, and the creative process.

 The animation Inside Out made this clear on so many levels, relatable to both adults and kids.



At times we want to get rid of those negative emotions quickly, but resisting them only seems to blow them up.

The idea is to become a silent observer and let them flow in and out. A lesson I am still learning during my guided meditation sessions with Andy courtesy of the mobile app Headspace. (You should try it out)

Inside Out is a narrative that plays in the mind of an 11 year old girl called Riley. The main characters in the animation are her feelings joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger.

The animation simply gives faces to those little voices we have in our minds.

When joy is nowhere to be found then the other emotions tend to come to the rescue. If you watched Inside Out you can remember Sadness proved to be very useful when Joy was lost.


Joy just like many of us, was of the opinion nothing good comes off negative feelings. It was later evident that however painful some of these emotions are. They are there for the ultimate good.


The Emotional Guidance Scale (double click for a clearer view)

According to the book Ask and It Is Given, emotions always provide clues as to what kind of energy we are allowing to flow. It is good to identify where you are on the emotional guidance scale, so that you can raise your vibration gradually and comfortably.


It is also explained that it is better to travel upwards, through the contrasting number of emotions in the guidance scale in order to raise your moods. Than to leap from a very bad mood to a very good one.

So that rather than leaping from say doubt about your work, (number 19) straight to rekindled passion (number 2).You could experiment with your craft, fail  and get disappointed (number 12) but then you have learnt what works and what does not work.


You could start trying many other things to see what works and end up feeling overwhelmed (number 11). A good place to be because it means you did not let the failure stop you.

You may continue trying​ out many things for a while and none of them seem to work so you get frustrated (number 10) . However, since you tried out many opportunities before you got to the frustrated stage you start receiving positive feedback when you least expect it.

You slowly start getting hopeful  (number 6) that all the effort you put is paying off. You start positively expecting  (number 4) more good to come in your life.

Good things happen, you get two free trainings consecutively. One is on digital marketing and right after you are done with that one, you get another one on creative entrepreneurship.

The creative enterpreneurship one conveniently happens to be taking place in the evening. Perfect for you considering you just started an internship on digital marketing meant to cement what you learnt during the training. You become more enthusiastic (number 3) about life.


With every session in the creative entrepreneurship training now, you take something home that rekindles your passion  (number 2).

You are a creative and you have always wanted to use your talents to start a lucrative and sustainable business and now you are slowly solidifying and executing your plan.You realize that the whole process was important.

 The emotions you went through kept you alert and more appreciative of the small wins in your pursuit of rekindled passion. I strongly believe in this process, because the steps along the emotional guidance scale you just finished reading have been my journey so far.

So the next time you feel like you are stuck in a bad place. Try identifying where exactly you are on the emotional guidance scale.

Be kind and gentle on yourself. Even more through the emotional roller coaster life often presents and give yourself time to gradually raise your vibration by moving up the emotional guidance scale. Before you know it you will be where you want to be. So all the best to us, cause we are in this together.

AA(Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya


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Ten Life Lessons (TLL) from Trevor Noah's Book: Born a Crime



One John W. Gardner once said "Life is art done without an eraser". Today I list down some 10 life lessons from Trevor Noah's autobiography Born a Crime. I'll do so along with a few steps I took getting to the finished dotted ( pointillism/stippled) art piece I did of him.

The book is a memoir of  his childhood as a biracial in South Africa during apartheid. He was born of a South African Xhosa mother and a Swiss-German father. Interracial relationships were illegal at the time and thus the title Born a Crime. His mother had risked 5 years in prison when she had him.

The book caught my attention and embraced it gently that there was no letting go. I was always looking forward to continuing from where I left of.

The descriptions given in the book are so vivid and African that they resonated so well with me as a Kenyan. Through his words I could feel his joy and his pain and at some point he managed to make me an emotional wreck. A wreck in a good way though, because the point was driven straight home.

Trevor is known for his comedy and it goes without saying that the list will start with something related to laughter and a positive attitude.



 Lesson 1: Look for humor even in the worst of situations

Trevor's step father shot his mother in the head and she miraculously survived.

A few days afterwards in the hospital, his mother was the first one to crack a joke. Trevor was crying by her bedside and she said to him. Don't cry. Look at the bright side: Now you're officially the best-looking person in the family.He bawled his eyes out and laughed hysterically at the same time.

According to Trevor they overcame a lot because of laughter That is why he says he thinks he loves comedy so much. It is what kept his family going through every single type of adversity.



Lesson 2: Nurture your spirituality

At the very beginning of the book we are introduced to Trevor's mother and her strong faith. On Sunday's Trevor mother would take him from the black people's church to the mixed race church and then to the white people's church to attend different services. To her, each of the three Churches offered something unique.  

As I drew close to the end of the book, the vivid expression of the emotions that were felt after Trevor's mother got shot in the head drew tears to my eyes.

I still remember that day I was reading it in a matatu and I had to stop reading it for a while to prevent myself from crying in a bus full of people.I had to take a few deep breathes too in order to calm down. Emotional movies do that to me all the time, but that was the first time a book had evoked such strong emotions in me. 

When someone gets shot in the head and suffers no brain damage and is alive and does not need to go through any surgery because the bullet completely passes through the head, missing all the major organs. It is hard to deny the miracle in that.


Lesson 3: Language unites sometimes even beyond race

In many instances Trevor realized language unites. In the book he says "Maybe I didn't look like you, but if I spoke like you, I was you.

He can be described as a polyglot a person who has mastered multiple languages. He speaks several languages including English, Afrikaans, German, Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho.

Due to his light skin color Trevor got a hard time in school. In order to gain acceptance from the black kids like a chameleon  he would blend well with people when they spoke different languages. When someone spoke Xhosa to him he would reply in Xhosa the same applied to the other South African languages like Tswana and Sotho.

There's one instance Trevor heard a group of guys speaking in their native language planning to mug him. He turned and started speaking their language saying "Yo, guys, why don't we just mug someone together? I'm ready. Let's do it" They looked shocked for a while then they started laughing. The fact that he spoke their language made them change their attitude towards him, they even apologized and told him they thought he was something else.





Lesson 4: Use your gifts and be keen on spotting opportunities

Trevor ran very fast. His naughty nature had helped him improve on his speed. He wrote" Nobody ran like me and my mom. She wasn't one of those come over here and get your hiding type of moms. She'd delivered it to you free of charge." Even if it meant running after him.

This was a gift that he leveraged at school. Immediately after assembly, there would be a race to the tuck shop because the queue to buy the food was so long. Every minute spent on the queue was working against people's break time too.

Trevor was always first in line, so people started going to him to buy things for them in return for some money. He grabbed that opportunity and started telling everyone at assembly to place their orders. He was an overnight success and in his words " Fat guys were my number-one customers. They loved food, but couldn't run."

Fun fact:
 Trevor was a naughty child but luckily unlike his cousins he never got punished by his grandmother. "A black child you hit them and they remain black" she used to tell his mother. "Trevor when you hit him he turns blue and green and yellow and red. I've not seen these colors before I am scared I am going to break him. I don't want to kill a white person."



Here I was working on his mischievous grin


Lesson 5: Fear regret rather than failure

In his own words; " I don't regret anything I've ever done in life, any choice that I've made. But I'm consumed with regret for the things I didn't do, the choices I didn't make, the things I didn't say. We spend too much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection, but regret is the thing we should fear most."

"Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have an answer to. ;"What if?" "If only" "I wonder what would have..." You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days"


Lesson 6: Be comfortable being unique

Imagine yourself living in a land where you are isolated because you are not black enough even though you were born and raised in an African family. You are not white enough because only one of your parents is.

Trevor was able to see and feel what both races went through during apartheid. He could not walk next to his mother in public and at some point his mother had to hire a mixed race lady friend Queen to walk with her and Trevor. So that she looked like Trevor's mother and his real mother would look like his nanny. Trevor could also not call his father Dad. He grew up calling him by his name Robert.

Trevor used his unique qualities to his advantage. He used his language skills to reach all races, he may not have felt like he fit in anywhere during his teenage years but speaking a certain groups language helped him earn trust.  Even to date Trevor says he enjoyed his childhood because it was all he knew. He never felt like he lacked much.



Lesson 7: Even in hardship home is where the heart is


Trevor got tired of seeing his mother abused by his step father. He felt helpless because he did not know how to assist her. They had reported him to the police a couple of times but he had some police friends. So nothing really ever happened to him.

His mother is the key personality in his book and he wrote the following " Finally, for bringing me into this world and making me the man I am today, I owe the greatest debt, a debt I can never repay, to my mother."

Lesson 8: Be better because of your past

Patricia Trevor's mother being a key personality in his book and in his life in general had the following to say" Learn from your past and be better because of your past, but don't cry about your past. Life is full of pain. Let the pain sharpen you, but don't hold on to it. Don't be bitter."

Patricia had gone through a lot but she practiced what she preached. She was never bitter. The deprivations of her youth, the betrayals of her parents, she never complained about any of it.



Lesson 9: Have respect for other people no matter how they treat you in return 

Patricia had suffered a great deal from her husband Abel, Trevor's step father. Trevor was hurt when he saw his mother suffer in Abel's hands. He did not at any point disrespect this vile man though.

It was only when Abel shot his mother that Trevor lost control and called him. At that point he thought his mother was dead. She had been shot in the head so it was hard to imagine she would survive that. Trevor threatened to kill Abel at that moment of rage.

He says " To this day I don't know what I was thinking. I don't know what I expected to happen. I was
just enraged." Clearly Patricia raised Trevor exceptionally well.


Lesson 10: Make the most of your situation

Trevor was hidden from the real world. His innocence as a child hid the truth behind his special treatment. To his young mind he did not think his special treatment was because he was light skinned. When it came to his grandmother to him it was "Trevor doesn't get beaten because Trevor is Trevor.

For a while Trevor did not have friends because he was neither black nor white.He learnt to accept his situation and resorted to living in his head. He would also read a lot while he was a lone. That would eventually make him the awesome author he is today that penned this amazing book. If you are going through a tough time, remember it is there as an opportunity to learn something new. That lesson is bound to stick and will probably help you a whole lot in the future. So hang in their and try to make the most of the situation.



AA (Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya


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Ten Life Lessons (TLL) from Oprah





She is definitely an inspiration to me and that is one of the reasons I decided to draw her. Having taken weeks working on her dotted piece. I feel like I would also like to share some lessons I  have learnt from Oprah over the years.

Lesson 1: Honor yourself and be authentic
Put yourself at the top of the list, honor yourself, nurture yourself. Your being here is miraculous enough and your real job is to honor that and as soon as you figure that out. You will be like "Oh wow wow! I am one of the lucky ones I got to be here.

Fill yourself up and keep your cup full. She used to get offended when people said she is so full of herself but now she embraces it because now she considers it a compliment. It is when you are full that you have so much to offer.
  

Have fun and smile more

Lesson 2: Remind yourself to relax
If given a chance to say something to her younger self she would say relax it's going to be okay. She said this is because when we feel uneasy that is something telling us that we have to change.  When we feel off course that's our cue. 

We should therefore think of how we will turn around.Through the challenge sit still and ask ourselves what the next right move is. Remembering not  be overwhelmed by it because our lives are more than that one moment.

Step 1

Lesson 3:There's no such thing as an embarrassing moment.
She believed that there is no moment she can possibly experience on air that someone else has not already experienced. Even those that seem very embarrassing. 

When she started out she said this was not true for her because she was more interested in impressing other people than she was doing what she was supposed to do.

The take home here is you can laugh at yourself and you can make a mistake it is not the end of the world. You don't have to be perfect.

Lesson 4: Everyone makes mistakes
Actually there are no mistakes because we all have a supreme destiny. When you don't know that, you get stressed all the time. 

There's a supreme moment of destiny calling on your life. Your job is to hear that and to know that... and sometimes when you are not listening you get taken off track you get into the wrong marriage, the wrong relationship or you take the wrong job but it's all leading to the same path. 

There are no wrong paths. There's no such thing as failure because failure is that thing trying to move you in another direction. So you get as much from your losses as from your successes because your losses are there to wake you up.

If you understand that, you don't allow yourself to be deeply affected by a grade or a by a circumstance because your life is bigger than any one experience. Pay attention to your life. Your life is your greatest teacher. Everything that happens to you makes you go closer to who you are.
                                      
Step 2

Lesson 5: You are what you believe
Even as a child to her she was always the smartest kid in the room.That is how she convinced her kindergarten teacher to take her to a different class because she felt like she did not belong there. 

She wrote her a letter and told her she felt she did not belong there because she knew a lot of big words. (It's funnier when you watch her give this story) She was taken to the principals office where she was asked to rewrite those big words. After which she skipped first grade and second grade.

The fundamental key to success is what you believe is true to yourself. You don't get what you wish for or hope for you get what you believe and know to be God's dream for you.

Lesson 6: Learn to listen to your instincts. 
Did you know Oprah never thought of herself running a talk show. In fact in her teen years she wanted to become a teacher. 

She says every time she made a good decision it was because she listened to her inner voice and every time she did not make a good decision it was because she did not listen to it. Do what feels right for you.
  
Step 3

Lesson 7: Find out why you are here.
Your real job is to discover why you are here and then align your personality with your purpose and nobody can touch you.

Lesson 8: Be here now
Be present every time so that you get the most of every moment.  Stop carrying the past into this moment. Pay attention to the people you interact with and the environment you are in.

Step 4


Lesson 9: In business don't waste too much time looking at what other businesses are doing.

Think of it like a race. The energy it takes for you to look back at the other guys in the race takes energy from you. If they are too close it scares you. It's not about the other guy it is about what you can do.You just have to run that race as hard as you can and give it your all every time for yourself.

Lesson 10: Provide value
She used to complain about the state of Television until a friend mentioned to her that she could start her OWN network. Coincidentally the letters OWN were her initials. She thought it would be nice if she created a network that was about mindful Television.

The thought was scary to her at first and she said she would wake up frightened at night. The reason she pushed on was because she believed people need to have value centered, inspirational programming for themselves.

                                     

Step 5: A portrait of Oprah Gail Winfrey


In conclusion Someone once told me about a phrase. The phrase went "blacks don't crack". I liked how the words rhymed but the message behind it made me even happier. The phrase I was told meant that black or dark skinned people do not wrinkle or show age quickly. Having spent a couple of days drawing her and years watching her I totally agree. She is  truly beautiful both inside and out.

AA (Auspicious Art)
Wendi Mutisya



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