Having born and raised in a community that stigmatizes artists and have little comprehension to the
art industry causes great frustration which leads to depression. Personally, I have experienced this
in quite a number of times in my life.
In first grade, we had a drawing project. This was the first time I would be critiqued on an artwork by
people besides my family and friends, ever! I happened to do exceptionally well for a 7-year old. I
even got a golden star above all the other subjects which I wasn’t really good at then. From then
onwards this made me believe that I am a good artist. I mean, everyone would say how fantastic my
drawings were. But, that only got me that- complements to feel good about myself. I’d always
wonder where this great skill and talent would get me. I knew none from the circle of people I met
or known to have much insight about being an artist. This created a big resentment to aspiring
further to this gift I have. Especially when family asked what were dreams and you were later
rebuked because of this stigma behind being an artist.
Local artists used to sell their art in the streets and no parent wanted that for their child. “Become a
civil engineer or an architect. You could do whatever you want in life” I was told. Anything besides
being an artist. Even though I was so good with drawing, breaking toys apart and making new
gadgets to fit my mood. I remember my parents stopped buying me new toys to play with because I
would take them apart to replace new parts onto the old ones I had. This created so much anxiety
because this feeling is what I personally knew and felt. Wanting to create for myself. They bought
me books rather, but this urge in me did not stop. I would later trace the books’ fonts on blank paper
because they were much interesting than reading a book without pictures or draw from my mom’s
magazines. I think my greatest escape was figure-drawing my grandmother and her visitors in the
lounge while they were conversing. That gave me great joy. Drawing people and seeing how they
smile and laugh seeing themselves on paper. My 15 years old portfolio is still available somewhere in
my dad’s personal belongings. That makes me happy.
My great depression is this: as a young African child dreaming to be an artist; this dream gets
minusculed to what others see as struggling artists on the streets. Even during high-school days,
those who took art as a major were seen as less intelligent. Even today, having studied Civil
Engineering and now known to be an art student, you get to see how people’s reactions are once
you talk to them. Mostly will belittle the statements you share just because they’d sound creative
and nonsensical to them. I always say that not understanding something or someone only defines
the level of your imagination to comprehend the matter at-hand. Mostly forget that there is no
certain oneness to consciousness. It is only defined uniquely by one’s experiences in life. The
depression of being misunderstood and given a cold shoulder towards your support to achieving
your dreams is toxic. People give up on being what they dreamed to be. This is because of that
stigma attached with becoming something people do not comprehend. Forgetting that the dreamer
is you and the vision of where you would love to be lies within your mind.
People need to embrace their thoughts. Fulfilment is achieved by doing what the mind desires. Do it
unconditionally and unapologetically because that defines you and what better way to define
yourself by your aspirations.
“It’s like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now, you may get the 8-pack, you may
get the 16-pack. But it’s all in what you do with the crayons, the colors that you’re given. And
don’t worry about drawing within the lines or coloring outside the lines. I say color outside the
lines. You know what I mean? Color right off the page. Don’t box me in. We’re in motion to the
ocean. We are not landlocked, I’ll tell ya that” – Waking Life 
Still paddling his bike; his mind gets populated by ideas. So he sits down for a moment to quench an agonising thirst…
“Communication is our ultimate tool. It is what we use to share emotions, ideas and desires. The contrast here is that we have so many different kinds of languages and within each of our eleven languages there are different dialects. So many languages and having to communicate direct instructions or sharing those ideas, emotions and desires could be disasterous. Yho! We can see this in our cultures withing our communities. Especially one social aspect being : Ubuntu- humanity. This being one of the big things that should be really bringing Africans together. But my people this understanding of this humanitarian act is not understood the same. How we perceive this idea of Africanism got lost between Genisis and our Mandela notes in our pockets. Religion and Economy. I wouldn’t want to begin this inquest by stirring conspiracy ideas but I would like to underline this plainly from a topic of communication and further extend the ideal: “Not knowing is expensive. Know yourself” .
A bicycle has one sit
A bike has one comfortable sit for the paddler. The person riding the bike is in charge of the destination. How fast I whine my feet on the paddles and the route I choose is all independently up to me. The route’s humps-and-bumps are obsticles that I need to overcome. But this ride is not only faced with everlasting wither but fruits that blossom; people that are about their daily lives; and the soothing cool weather that compels your journey in a twine of memory and wisdom met as an experience. This trip – filled with its events – is quite a Phenomenon: an experience known through senses rather than intuition or reason. This experience can only be known uniquely by the person experiencing this.
I believe that this experience relates massively to life. “Look closely to nature and you will understand how life works”-Einstein. Everything in nature is unique in its shape, look, smell, function of life but the twist here is that even though they are unique in their respect, they are closely related. And relation is what brings us close. It’s our inception to understanding how something works and most importantly communication.
Based on the latest books I have read and articles of interest: ‘Capitalist Nigger’ by Chika Onyeani;’Alchemist’ by Paulo Coehlo; now recently ‘The Ultimate Colonisation of Africa’ by Nick Jibilika and insights on Satre’s and Heidegger’s Phenomenolgy and Existentialism: I have learned that each and every one of us has a desire to fulfill. That doxa experiences are detrimental to the population as this envokes popular decision in the society and turns a blind-eye to eudaimonia – happiness or well-being being the highest aim of moral thought and conduct. Today, our country is facing a lot of backlog concerning our economy and inevitably politics and for a creative mind like mine, certain issues became quite true when reading feats by Chika Onyeani, Jick Jibilika and asf. These ideas shared by these men reveal quite an interesting paradigm when one, Chika Onyeani asserts: that the Black Race is a consumer race and not a productive one. Says the author, Chika Onyeani, “We are a conquered race and it is utterly foolish for us to believe that we are independent. The Black Race depends on other communities for its culture, its language, its feeding, and its clothing.” “Despite enormous natural resources,” according to author, “Blacks are economic slaves because they lack the “killer-instinct” and “devil-may-care” attitude of the Caucasian, as well as the “spider web economic mentality” of the Asian.” The author is not afraid to use the word ‘nigger’ in both pejorative or stereotypic senses. He says, “It is not what you call me, but what I answer to, that matters most.” This, broiled with the issues happening in my country, inspired the notion of having to think and ponder upon posible solutions as to how I – South African citizen – can use this knowledge in empowering my approach to such a predicament : being a consumer that is not productive and not coming with this with a racial notion for one, but an underlying individual who wants to state this aimed at empowering a fellow brother, friend and sisters who longs for economic emansipation and ultimately freedom ( which varies from person to person). This insight, combined with other authors, have sort of brought me to think of life and how to live life to the fullest – taking responsibility to this life concept. Where whining about problems isn’t an issue of self pity but of assertive action, physically participating in the economy. I believe if each individual takes initiative in wanting to no more and being woke (aware) about situation concerning life and what this life is ran by – economics. We shall begin to have a singular and complex ways to eradicate our woes especially poverty. We have had the greatest leaders ; Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Winnie Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Gaddafi, Patrick Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, asf! These great men can only do so much for their people and it is high-time leaders immerge from every department possible because in not doing for ourselves we will forever be dependant and never independent.
“To be something you need to be submerged into the thing itself, fully. For our world runs on a system of Capitalism. We ought to be Capitalist Moguls if we are ought to see economic emancipation for our people. Not just consumers who can’t do for themselves. We have to do our own! Build our own African Economy. We’ve been complaining for far too long about our struggles just to fit in with the western culture that our own insight of our principles and culture are de-emphesized” – Textured LeSela