WinterABC2021: 22 Days Blogging Festival: What is it about?
#WinterABC2021 is a month-long storytelling festival that started on 1 June 2021. All African bloggers are invited to create content for the 22 days leading to 30 June 2021, save for the weekends which are reserved for resting, and networking.
What is the background?
In the old days in Africa, we would gather around a fire to share stories passed on from generation to generation, stories that carried our values, and beliefs as a people. In this internet age, our new village meeting place is online. We come together to showcase our creativity, archive our stories, celebrate our culture, and learn from our different experiences. We must tell our stories as Chimamanda rightfully puts it:
“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity. “
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE ON THE DANGER OF A SINGLE STORY
This first week, we are sharing stories about the creative life, showcasing the people, the struggles, the opportunities, and much more. What is a creative? What are the struggles of being a creative? What do I wish the world knew about being a creative? Who are my favourite creatives?
For more information about the challenge, please follow the link below.
And now I write…
Among the many or few things I am doing this year is a leadership course at Harvest Institute. We cover a different theme every month and ahead of our theme for the month of July, our facilitators started discussions during the month of May. The main task is to engage in the discussions around different topics. So this challenge comes in at the perfect time when I feel like talking (or writing in this case).
MY CREATIVE JOURNEY
I never did quite define myself as a creative. The normal Ugandan Education system seems to favour the science subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and the fundamental language, English. From a young age, I was a top performer in class. I did really well in most if not all the subjects. As expected though, more attention was always drawn to the science subjects. I was a mathematics guru from a tender age. I understood physics principles quite easily. Chemistry was mostly a piece of cake and yet Biology did not quite click for me. It was one of my two poorly performed in subjects at ordinary level.
My eldest sister, Lydia introduced modern gospel music to us. Prior to that, most of what we knew were church hymns. Oh, how I love those hymns. They are some of the most beautiful pieces we have on this earth. So with a new kind of music came a new kind of liking for music itself. Shortly after that, I started playing the piano and that started my love for musical instruments.
Music started my creative journey and it has been beautiful since then. Whenever I am in a group of people and I am asked to mention one unique thing about myself, I run to the fact that I can play 5 musical instruments; the piano, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, recorder & traditional flute (let us add the xylophone though it has been years since I last touched one). How did did I get there?
A young lad called Jonathan (aka Jonas) joined high school the year after me. He came and was the guitar maestro. He was even in my house at the time. At the time, I played the piano and had basic music knowledge. One day, I asked Jonas to start teaching and guess what song I learnt first!!!
Yes, Hero by Enrique Iglesias was the very first song I learnt on the acoustic guitar. A few weeks later, there was the annual Band Night at school. The junior band had no bass guitarist and Jonas knew I had basic guitar knowledge so he asked me to come and play. Don (senior bassist at the time) run me through the notes very quickly because he had an exam while we were rehearsing.
Two days later, I stood on the main hall stage and played the bass guitar. This particular story is hilarious for me because it so happens that at the beginning of the show, the bass guitar on stage was a different guitar. Because I had crammed my finger movements on the school bass (a blue 4-stringed Fender bass), I refused to use the one on stage (it was a 5-stringed bass). We delayed the start of the show for a few minutes because the crew was getting me the blue bass to play. Byron (drums), Jonas (lead guitar), Shylock (acoustic guitar) & Ezra (keyboard) were on that band if I remember correctly. What great music we played together!
By the time I left high school three years later, I was the leader of the school band and had successfully trained the first all-girl band. Those young ladies made me so proud. I think we need to take a walk down memory lane with them.
Rachel, Rachel, Flower, Jennifer, Patience…y’all shall remind me if I left someone out. Let us get together over a hot meal one of these days.
Music started my creative journey and oh what a journey it has been.
I figured I would start out this challenge with just a bit about myself, to get my head in the game first. For more, let’s watch the space together. This is a 22 (now 21) day journey that I hope we will enjoy.
Thank you for reading.