I have been priviledged enough to know of or meet exceptionally amazing women this year. I had the honour of attending the Between10and5 Creative Womxn Conference in Joburg yesterday and the topic was creativity as an element of freedom. The conference left me inspired with more questions than answers to my contribution towards creativity.
My biggest take-away from this full-day conference was, we as creative people need to document our lives and experiences. Documentation needs to happen in order to contribute to South African and African history because sufficient material on such topics, on all aspects, is lacking in public libraries, media, and information centres.
If you can create a mess, then you are creative person by default. How that creativity gets channeled differs from one person to the next. However, people often mention “they are creatives” in conversations and I often wonder who are ‘they’, what makes ‘them’ different and if I make the cut to be considered another form of ‘they’.
I’m 28-years old and I am in constant struggle with myself to live a meaningful life infused with creativity, not just for me but for all the brown girls after me who desire to be something in and beyond their circumstances. I’m a firm believer in design thinking and the notion of solving problems creatively because that is what shows your uniqueness to problem solving.
In my opinion, the schooling system educates us out of creativity more than ever with telling us what is wrong or what is right instead of showcasing view points, encouraging opinions and allowing for different perspectives and highlighting that different perspectives are OK! So, how did ‘they’ survive the schooling system and people like me still have a heart attack when we colour outside the lines? I have a cousin who was born left-handed but got ‘schooled’ into using his right hand because it was the right (excuse the pun) way to write. WTF?
As a young black female, I am studying part-time towards a second Honours degree and I find it disheartening there is NOT enough locally PUBLISHED postgraduate work that one can access to enrich his/her knowledge of black issues relating to social identity in South Africa. I often wonder if my creativity is enough to be an entrepreneur or if it is enough to channel it into entrepreneurial thinking in how I do things.
A topic that needs a separate blog post on its own is the topic of the preservation of African culture. How do we as Africans and African women preserve, in a visual and literary medium, the aspects of our culture? I’m lucky in that I can speak, read and write Zulu but how do I educate a younger generation (be it my future child) about Zulu culture and its meaning in a world where there is not enough archived work to reference from? A dilemma I am yet to solve.
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