#CreatePrenuerAfrica: South Africa’s Usha Seejarim’s soul journey into artistic realms linking human connectivity

 

We all have storerooms, backyards, and trunkloads storing archived unwanted or expired products and life experiences, right?

Somewhere items are lying about like odd hangers, broken irons and pegs?

Usha Seejarim translates ordinary objects into a dichotomy of monumental artwork. Items used daily like irons, brooms, safety pins and wooden pegs mark the aura of her humanistic themes in the dynamics of space, displacement, chance and time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 – Beaded portrait for the funeral of former South African president Nelson Mandela

With a  master’s degree in fine art and a simultaneous qualification as a laughter coach, Usha Seejarim is a visionary artist with an astonishing profile of esteemed works, including the Nelson Mandela funeral portrait along with numerous large-scale public artworks.

Curator of the thought-provoking  ‘I am because you are: A search for Ubuntu with Permission to dream”  exhibition was an initiative to encourage viewers to contemplate the value of  Ubuntu in contemporary life. The  exhibition comprised of  52  artworks  from a range of artists

She was recently awarded the Best Sculpture prize at the Senegal  Biennale of Contemporary African Art (Dak’Art). She remains no less than one of the laureates of this festival.

http://www.ushaseejarim.com/projects-1/

” I never thought I would become an artist as a child. I loved art, but it was not seen as a profession in social circles and the community I was raised in.  I enrolled at FUBA  (federated Union of Black Artists), in Newtown Johannesburg when my school did not offer art as a  study subject. I took part-time courses at FUBA and never looked back. I then got a  qualification equivalent of a bachelor of fine arts  at Wits technikon and my Master’s of Fine Arts at Wits University ”

Usha Seejarim : winner of the sculpture prize of biennial DakÁrt in Senegal

Meet CreatepreneurAfrica – ‘Aesthetic Extraordinaire’ Usha Seejarim

 

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

The constant pursuit of a feeling of complete presence and joy. Albeit fleeting, for me, this is achieved through stillness, through being in nature and through making art.

2007-2010 – Why Men, created for the Sandton Business Improvement District, Johannesburg,
How did you find your passion and how old were you?

This is always a difficult question to answer. I have always enjoyed drawing and making things. Perhaps when I was a teenager, I became aware that this was somewhat of a gift, through the attention given by others.

2005 – Pin Code
What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

That despite the fact that the work is often complex, often incredibly labor intensive and often challenging to navigate, it always seems effortless and enjoyable.

Forgiveness-02.jpg 2013 – Forgiveness
What drove you to make money from your passions?

The stubborn attitude to making it work and not succumbing to easier means of earning an income that would involve negating the making of art.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

Perhaps as a student when I took on mural painting and other student jobs available for an art student.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

A belief in myself and an inner voice that said that this is, in fact, bigger than yourself. An acknowledgment of a gift.

 

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

A definition of success that is much further away from where I am right now.

2008 – Screens for the South African Chancery, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

I would like to believe that I have matured enough not to care about those that have doubted me. My journey does not involve proving anything to anybody. I am simply doing my thing and getting on with it.

What advice do you give to aspiring creative's who look up to you?

I stress the importance of being authentic. Be yourself and allow your unique journey to unfold. Work hard without trying too hard. Be ambitious without being desperate and learn from those who you admire. Emulate their work ethic and not their work.

#CreatePreneurAfrica Zziwa Aaron Alone, Uganda’s King of Guerilla Fimmaking!

Zziwa Aaron Alone, a multi-award-winning film director, all the way from Uganda in East Africa,is all about understanding African culture through the realm of moving pictures.

Guerrilla filmmaker Zziwa Aaron Alone is on a mission to redefine the art of great filmmaking with lights,camera and literally,no budget!

The filmmaking industry in Uganda is undoubtedly growing. My film,‘The Superstition’, was nominated alongside Jackie Chan’s, ‘Chinese Zodiac’ at the  2014 Abuja International Festival”

Zziwa Aaron Alone

  • Nominated Best Film director in 2014 and 2015 – Arusha African film festival, Tanzania.
  • Nominated in 2016 – Africa Movie Academy Award, Nigeria 
  • Nominated Best Director- 2017 Uganda film festival

Meet #CreatepreneurAfrica, Uganda’s Zziwa Aaron Alone

 

Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?

What drives me? ……  I love to bring stories to life. It drives me everytime I think of stories that can change the generation, the community, and the world.

Our narratives impact positively on human change. My passion in life is when I make stories go to screen. I feel great when stories which I gave birth to are embraced by audiences. It motivates me more and more to give them more…..

How did you find your passion and how old were you?

The way I found my passion is through frequent hangouts at a local cinema hall, aka Bibanda, with my elder brother when I was little. I think I was like five years old when he took me there and I enjoyed Chinese Kung-Fu films.

Later I found myself taking myself alone there. The passion grew and this always got me trouble at home! When I grew older I decided to make my hobby my reality.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

What appeals to me about my passion is when  I am appreciated, whether I direct, write or act in my films. 

When the cast and crew are appreciated with awards and recognition, it encourages them to take on new projects. I embrace appreciation and audience attendance at my screenings each time I have them.

What drove you to make money from your passions?

 I studied entrepreneurship at the university. I am a person that hates to be employed.  The richest people in this world are entrepreneurs. Being employed by others will not make me rich.  I drove my persona into a business module rather than slaving off for another.

 

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

It was in  2013 when I was working under someone else. First comes passion, we get by, even when pay is scarce.

What kept you going when you thought about giving up?

First of all is when I was nominated at the Abuja international film festival for my film ‘The Superstition’ alongside Jackie Chan’s film, ‘Chinese Zodiac’.

This was motivating. My films made it to  Arusha film festival in Tanzania as well as the Silicon Valley African film festival in the USA and the academy awards in Nigeria.

This shows me people appreciate my work out there.  I have a passion for storytelling and film. If there was no passion I would have given up ages ago.  Being an artist is challenging. It may be challenging all over the world, but I feel it in Uganda.

 What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

Firstly, what motivates me today is the people I work with. They never give up no matter what circumstances or challenges appear.  We face it together.

Secondly my mother Jacqueline Guglielmino. She encourages me, she is the most hardworking woman I have ever seen on this planet.  I want to be like her.

Thirdly, my brothers. They have always had my back.

Fourthly, the awards that I win on projects with all those on my team.

What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?

Time tells, today you can see someone as low today,  but tomorrow, he might be  the one to bail you out, so be polite and humble

Be human, respect people’s hustle and what they want, as long as it’s not a crime.

So what  I can tell them is, always give people a chance, empower them and believe in them. Believe in what they are trying to do, no matter how many years it may take.  Artists careers take a long time to kick off but eventually, it does.

 Even Albert Einstein went through challenges in his discoveries but is now celebrated.

 What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

What can I advise all those that are aspiring in this creative sector?

No matter what challenges appear, always have hope and follow your dreams.  Never ever mistreat people who make you or who have made you who you are. Have respect and focus on your path. Set goals and a clear vision for your passion and success will prevail.