Let’s face it! We are weird.
And maybe that is why we are not understood.
Who in the typical Ugandan setting drops the envied engineering job to become a photographer? Who forsakes a promising career in law to pursue music or fashion? Who lets loose the white gown, throws open the doors of med school to chase his dream in film? This is ridiculous, top notch insanity.
But we are artists. And just maybe, we are not wackos.
Art is deeply ingrained in the African being. It is apart of us, as is the radiant sun that rises over the plains. The oldest art form in the world was found on the continent and is believed to have existed 100,000 years ago.
Art is deeply ingrained in the African being. It is apart of us, as is the radiant sun that rises over the plains.
Let’s not be shy about it. Art is our identity. In ancient times, art was royalty. It glorified persons of rank. African art was multi-functional: it served as a handmaiden of government, religion, and even economics. It also served to entertain. Africans lived this aesthetic life of art.
It only gets better with technology today.
Starting out in a rather unrecognized industry was like dipping feet in water and hoping you won’t get wet. It is easier being a lawyer because everyone believes it is the epitome of success but it is harder being an artist because everyone tends to think you are going to fail.
So we got soaked in some of these challenges and more. After seven years in the industry, we have survived to tell a story of endurance and a story of possibilities.
In the art world you got to compromise, kill the norm, choose to be different, and see what other people don’t see.
The Seventh Creed stems from this analogy. For a long time, businesses big and small threw the homeboys out of the window and shipped work to Kenya and South Africa because creative work made in Uganda was awful.
But we determined to write a different story. We believed that Ugandans would make great creative work locally. We chose to believe that we are rare and we possess divergent minds. We have what it takes to troubleshoot creative problems and we want businesses to trust us.
For seven years this is what we’ve lived for. But it is much more than that. It is being purposeful and relevant to society. We don’t just aspire to do great work, we create work that is functional and adds value to people’s lives.
Sometimes you’ve got to see yourself through a different lens. In the art world you got to compromise, kill the norm, choose to be different, and see what other people don’t see.
That is the essence of creativity.
So artist, art is amazing. Enjoy the ride.