La Famosa set off to Uganda with her ultimate Pan-African vision was a mission to gather young women and men in the creations of the fashion world, to build an Africa network, gather ideas and support to inspire and grow through design and color.
“I loveAfrica, I love everything it’s offering me so far. I’m here to stay!
By the time she turned sixteen, she made it a mission to follow her dreams. She graduated from a technology high school, gained her cosmetology license and burst onto the world scene of fashion!
Her knowledge of hair design and fashion her repertoire as the most reliable and respectable stylist within the US.
A force to reckon with La Famosà spread out towards her screen career and created a showreel for a reality TV show called: ‘Queens Reign Supreme’ and played the role of Sassy.
Her passion for Africa comes from a soul connection to family and friends alike. Her love for Africa is contagious excitement she seeks to spread all over the world.
“I chose Africa because I have a vision that I will be the reason entrepreneurs will take control of what they want and need – Lanes will be created exclusively for the next top designers”
She plans to attend university’s, high schools and middle schools in Africa with the aim to reach out to the youth, motivate them to stay in school and continue to excel.
The ultimate outlook is the creation of handsfree business programs for the inspiring goal achiever. Mold them into CEO in this 500,000,000,000 billion dollar beauty industry.
“I have the strategies, I just need the ones that have the willpower to make the industry go from billions to trillions of dollars” La Famosa
Meet CreatepreneurAfrica – La Famosà in Uganda!
Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
Making people happy, making people feel proud of themselves, changing their aspects on life, building confidence drives me to be better as a person.
It builds something in the way I conduct business. My true passions characteristics are based on how people react off of me and how I treat people. It’s become a lifestyle to reward people with my genuine ways.
I love the feeling when people take a second glance at what I’m
wearing or what I’ve said. It means interest, wondering how it all came about. It gives me a chance to stand up tall and express my desire to inspire.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
I found my passion at the age of 10 years old. I noticed it was a passion of mine when my mood changes every time I spoke about hair and fashion. It did something to me emotionally.
It took me away from my childhood nightmares.Whether it’s fashion, hair styling, consulting, anything to do with transforming people exteriors, it made me feel in control and complete as a little girl.
Something I looked up to. It became a dream of mine with hopes of it coming true one day.
What about your passion appeals to you the most?
What appeals to me the most about my passion is that I can have a moment be my true self. Expressing myself through art.
I became a person that can advise and teach. It allowed me to make people feel good in my own creative way through creative designing. Introducing them to a new language. Fashion.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
What drove me to make money from my passion was when I noticed my idols and my competitors achieving their business goals over and over and over again.. I knew that once I took my talents & skills serious along with making some adjustments to the way I conducted business. I knew right there and then that I can achieve the same. I never doubted my self.
When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
When I first got compensated for doing something I loved I was 15/16yrs old. I was overwhelmed and it motivated me to always push harder to stay afloat & above. From the age 10-16yrs old, I was hair designing but never got paid for it. I always did it for fun, practice, or just to distract me from my personal issues at home, knowing I was one day going to get paid for what is now my ultimate passion.
What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
The only thing that kept me going from never ever giving up was the constant monthly reminder. MY BILLS .. hahaha . The more money I made, the more responsibilities I accumulated. I knew if I was to ever give up on my ambitious ways I’ll eventually lose everything I sacrificed everything for.
I had no one to depend on but my self and skills. The objective was to remain on top and remain responsible at the same time.
What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
I feel like people that I surround my self, friends & family motivate me in so many ways to become more successful, whether it’s negative or positive happening in their lives. My mother didn’t really teach me the valuable lessons I know today. I learn from others peoples mistakes and achievements.
What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
I wouldn’t relay a message to the people that doubted me. I’ll like to take the opportunity if given and give a big THANK YOU to everybody that knew I was going to make it.. those are the people I most appreciate, and thankful for. Positive vibes are what I feed off.
What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?
My advice to the inspiring girl bosses, creative directors, goal achievers is to meditate on your idea, take a step back, set a goal that makes sense to self. Remain realistic, and stop nothing to achieving your goal. Good luck, I believe in you.We all will have a moment of doubt but always stay afloat and focus.
Egyptian filmmaker Jihan El Tahri,rich in roots of diversity and a wealth of world experience,takes us on her soul rhythm journey, a mission to ignite the spirit of the Motherland Africa.
Tuning into insight and wisdom, she captures the heart of African roots beyond maintream media definitions and prescriptions related to what Africa was and wasn't, or what it is and should be.
Starting her career as a journalist, Africa’s legendary filmmaker, Jihan El Tahri. initially worked as a television researcher and news correspondent, covering the politics in the Middle East. This is when she realized the new dawn was on the power of the visual medium.
The award-winning,”Behind the Rainbow” explores transition in South Africa.
It chronicles the liberation project of the African National Congress and compromises that eventually led to the historic 1994 elections, the eventual erosion of promises and dreams, raising questions about the present era.
She is also an avid visual artist with several exhibitions scheduled throughout the year.
Africa cinema is her passion, telling stories from Africa, for the people by the people.
Filmmaking comes with pain, heartaches and minimal returns…. but when a film is complete it allows a person to voice, to exist, and to be heard, and that makes it worth it when your film continues to make sense, even years later.
Meet # CreatepreneurAfrica: Let’s hear it from the legendary filmmaker Jihan El Thari
1. Tell us what drives you? What is your true passion in life?
To your first question, what drives you and what your true passion is in life?…..
It’s hard to say what my true passion is….because I guess they all intertwined but talking about film and documentary…
I think what really drives me is a real desire to understand and know and chronicle what happened in the whole post-independence periods. Why is it the promises and the vision of that moment of independence that was going to give the people of the continent and the colonized people everywhere….the quality freedom and dignity?Why did not happen, why is that we still there today, I guess that’s the driving question,
but passion if it’s just about what I really am passionate about
I’m passionate about music
I’m passionate about film
I’m passionate about art
So yeah…..I dabble in all three.
2. How did you find your passion and how old were you?
I guess my passion meaning documentary, well like in 1990, so I must have been…..I guess I was ..26 at that time… 1990.
It was during the Gulf war, as a journalist I was covering the Gulf war, and I immediately realized that the game had been overtaken by TVs and no matter how much we wrote, no matter how much we researched, one image was more powerful than anything one did.
But that was just about the image, the way of making films, I think it was a big revelation for me when I saw this film called “Death of Yugoslavia”, it was educational, it was interesting, it was funny and most of all it finally made sense of what was happening in Yugoslavia.
The war had been on for a few years and the more it went on the more one realized well I don’t understand anything, so you just left it behind, zapped it …
Suddenly then there was this documentary, that put it together in a way where I could actually understand, and then you started making sense, and I could take a position. I could think for myself that was the key, thinking for myself.
I guess that’s when I really started making the kind of films that I make because I never give conclusions. Its really about trying to chronicle how things happen and how we got there, and once you understand that, from there a person can decide for themselves, where they stand in that particular event.
3. What about your passion appeals to you the most?
What is it that appeals to me most… RESEARCH. I think I’m really passionate about research mainly because what I really want to do is try and look at stories from a different perspective, because we’ve been told our stories the whole time through Western eyes, through Western stories.
And when I approach a topic what I really try to do most is see it from our own perspective from a southern perspective from the perspective of the people who actually lived it, rather than the colonial masters or the cold war protagonists.
So I try and get to that prism of the story, and so the research cannot just rely on the books and newspapers and the documents because they all written from a Western perspective , so one really has to get down to declassifying document,s get down to finding first-hand eyewitnesses finding stuff that was written in different languages.
I mean, I’m lucky because I can speak four or five languages, I can actually read in these languages what was written by the people themselves, whereas it’s not the case if you only speak English or French you only get that one perspective.
Yes, so that’s what appeals to me the most. And I also love putting together the film at the end…at the end of the day the film is made in the editing, you have a narrative you know where you going, but because of time constraints and how it’s going to broadcast.
The film itself is made in the editing and it’s not my favorite part when I have to cut things down, but that first moment of the editing when I lay down the whole story as it was told to me is quite a big moment for me.
4. What drove you to make money from your passions?
I’ll actually answer 4 and 5 together, what drove you to make money from your passion well I don’t actually make money from my passion unfortunately for me.
I guess I could make money if I did it more superficially, but it does take me four to five years to make a film, and because of that most of the time I don’t get paid anything reasonable even.
Just for an anecdote: When I finished “Behind the rainbow”, my accountant as we finalized the account, and as I was walking out, he stopped he said, you do realize that the cleaning lady earned more than you did on this film?”
And it’s because she obviously got paievery timeme she worked. I had a lumpsum, which is fine in one year but when stretching over four years, you barely make ends meet …which accounts for me doing other things on the side like teaching and so forth,, so that’s question 4…
5.When was the first time you were paid for your passion?
When was the first time I was paid for my passion? I’m going to stick to the documentary but I could also say photography, my very first job.
When I was 19 was as a photographer and I remember clearly, I was working for Reuters, and my first salary paid for taking pictures that I thought was the most amusing thing as I would have paid to go take these pictures, but now I was being paid to do that.That was when I first started working as a photographer at Reuters, that must have been in 1984 or something.
In documentary when I started documentary, I was already a professional in the sector, so obviously I got paid, meaning I had budgets in which I got paid if there was any leftover!
6. What kept you going when you thought about giving up?
I thought about giving up many times, especially in the middle of the film when things go completely out of sync.
“Behind the rainbow” was a good example, when for six months, absolutely everyone I had interviewed for research and was a 1oo percent onboard of the film suddenly when I came back with a camera, nobody wanted to talk.
It took about six months for me to get the first interview and my cameraman whose German had come to South Africa for the shoot and instead of 26 or 27 days he was paid for the shoot he stayed for six months. That was a very depressing moment.
And my co-producer, Steven Markovitch from Big world cinema, you know, as a producer, he realised that we couldn’t go on like this and everyone wanted to shut down the project but I’d went too far, I spent already three years, and there was no way I wasn’t going to make that film, especially because I thought it was an important film.
So the short answer to what motivates me to keep going when I think should give up, is because I don’t just make films , I really grapple with topics that I think are important for me and people like me, people who believe in Africa, people who want a better future, so I guess that’s what keeps me going.
7. What motivates you every day to be even more successful?
What motivates me every day to be even more successful?
I don’t actually think of myself as successful. I just feel I’m lucky to do what I do. and I put my whole heart in it. I’m not sure what successful means because depending on the criteria I m actually not successful at all.
I don’t earn enough money to keep me going’, so I’m lucky that I have multiple things that I do because it keeps me floating but I engage with what I believe in and what I love and do it to the fullest.
For the past year, for example I’ve been doing visual arts. I started about five years ago, but over the past year I’ve basically only been doing exhibitions and visual art projects, and I’ve done at least four exhibitions that year and I have four or five to come this year, and I love each and everyone, they’re different topics.
And I guess it’s being able to use different formats in order to deal with all the questions you have personally and try to find a way to express them.
So as much as my documentaries are extremely talkative, my visual arts work or my contemporary arts work there isn’t a single words its just visual, I think having an alternative format to grapple with more or less same issues is wonderful, so I put my whole heart into it and try to do it as best as I can
8.What do you have to say to all of the people who doubted you?
The people who doubted me…… well I guess there’s people who still doubt me. People will always doubt others, but what will I tell them?……. I’ll tell them good luck, go find your own passion and go do something beautiful and that you believe in.
I don’t really pay attention to people who doubt me or don’t doubt me because I don’t particular…I guess…care..
I don’t care. what I’m seen as, as long as I’m doing what I think is the right thing and as long as I don’t overstep boundaries, not politically speaking of course, but overstep boundaries like don’t forecast in terms of cultural and other things.
I most of the time work with stories that I believe in and care about but I’m not part of the community I’m talking about, like for example my film about Zambia or my film about South Africa.
I lived there I cared about it but I’m a not Zambian and I’m not South African, so I do care about not overstepping cultural borders, that in order for my work to remain relevant, in order for the people from that place identify with it too. but obviously you never win everybody and if you do win everybody over….then you’ve done something wrong, as there is always one side of the story that wants negate the other,
9.What advice do you give to aspiring creative is who look up to you?
I must say I get very touched and almost embarrassed now that my age is advancing, young people come up to me and tell me that you know that look up to me or that I inspire them, it’s very touching because I guess one never thinks that work one does will resound on a much larger scale
What do I have as advice….. I basically will repeat what I have said over and over hold on to the stories you care about and go out and find out about them,
Don’t let people tell you what they about, go find your own angle go expose find discover engage with what matters to you, and I think even when people tell you oh you not the right person to do so,,oh you this oh you not allowed that, forget about all this something that you feel matters to you.
Go out and get it, and give it time and give it love, AND I UNDERLINE, GIVE IT TIME…because in our day and age its much more time than money makes a difference.
Money is obviously important but money is the way lots of people sell there soul, so if you care about something go find money in a different sector, but with your passion, give it TIME, give it LOVE.
And if it doesn’t give you enough money, don’t sell your soul for money, get the money somewhere else we all have multiple skills, so find that skill, I’ve translated, I worked as a driver …..I’ve done everything under the sun when I needed money, there’s no shame in working, so follow your passion.
Award-winning actress from Eastern Cape, Andre Dondolo is a writer, a cultural activist, a community leader, a storyteller, a Ímbongi (Xhosa praise singer), a talented bead crafter and a businesswoman.
She runs “Calabash Storyteller” a township talent agency and her own clothing line. Her other activities are storytelling workshops for children and adults.
Calabash Storytellers is an NPO focused on creating dialogue through the arts, culture, and heritage. Township Talent is a business based on innovation design
Her early studies in human rights at the University if the WesternCape and a drama diploma with the “New Africa Theatre Association”, led her into professional productions like “Romeo and Juliet” and “Dancing 2 patterns” at the Cape Baxter Theatre.
She has featured in international feature films, “The Final Solution” as well as “The Piano Player.” A household name, South Africa television has her featured in multiple shows.
Createpreneur Africa- Andrea Dondolo
Tell us what drives you?
The need to live a purpose driven life rather than just existing knowing that after each fall you must get up and get going bruises and all are just your own scars.
How did you find your passion and how old were you?
Wow, I believe it always been there, all it took was alignment and opportunity so I guess as soon as I could reason and manage the conversation with my mind, heart and soul, I nailed it, To be exact, I guess at around 25.
What about your passion appeals to you the most?
The adrenaline and fear that fuels appeal to me.
What drove you to make money from your passions?
Money makes the world go round, if you make it while you doing what you love, you've nailed it.
When was the first time you got paid for your passion?
In the year 1999, it was a theatre show called "The Good heart" at Baxter theatre while finalizing my studies at New Africa Theatre Association.
What kept you going when you thought you were giving up?
My son and competitive spirit.
What motivates you every day to be more successful?
What do you have to say to all the people who doubted you?
Well my life is exactly that, my own, live yours and prosper, by the way, no one died and put you in charge of my life, live yours.
What advice do you give creatives who look up to you?
Just run your race and keep your focus on the ball......
Africa, the heartbeat of rhythmic narrative voices, the home of authentic root information, is on a mission to reshape its distorted, desecrated image. Words spark off like distant echoes healing scars inflicted by the wraths of colonialism.
From rhythmic poetry to reciting kings, the pulsating echo from the motherland of Africa in streams of African literature is rooted in oral tradition, moral values, cultural systems and laws that were passed on from wood fires in the villages spreading voices to be heard, passing through the rivers and mountains.
Wole Soyinka from Nigeria spread the wings of Africa literature awareness and development after claiming the Nobel prize in 1986. Magical extraordinaire from Africa followed with Ben Okri and ‘The Famished Road’. The enchanting tale from Africa in a magical tone of realism and claimed the poetic prose Booker prize in 1991.
Somalian novelist, Nuruddin Farah received the 1998 Neustadt Prize prize. Nigerian author emerged with ‘Measuring time’ and Mozambican Mia Couto’s lyrically delicious read “The Last Flight of the Flamingo” took off in a magic realism masterpiece of note.
The last two and a half decades women writers came to the fore. From the classic ‘Nervous conditions” by Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangaremba to Cameroon’s Calixthe Beyal, showcased women from Africa that excel in literature.
A young girl from Nigeria, ‘Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’ made her debut on the literary scene taking the world by storm with ‘Purple Hibiscus’. ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ followed, an epic of the Nigerian civil war.
Amma Darko, a tax collector expanded her creativity in Africa’s expression in the linguistic field. She published (Der VerkaufteTraum) Beyond The Horizon
Monica Arac de Nyeako from Uganda claimed the 2007 Caine Prize.
The past ten years have seen the emergence of publishing houses and broadened our understanding of the savannah. The diverse narrative from Africa continues globe trotting.
The internet has widened pathways for authors to circumnavigate the traditional publishing house methods, earn revenue and create online fans. EC Osunde proved this after winning the 2009 Caine Prize for initially published on Guernicamag.com.
The Caine Prize has provided a recognition for African writing in an annual platform to ensure the development of writing on the continent.
Binyavanga Wainaina, after winning the Caine Prize in 2002 initialises, Kwani, a literary review in Africa. The infrastructure of African writing continues to develop with new publishing houses and the information exchange online of databases and African studies as well as social networks like twitter transcend all publishing barriers giving a Voice to Africa.
The Colonial Linguistic barriers dividing Africa – reinforced
The question of language was always debated regarding the logic of English in literature writing in indigenous languages grew
Ngugi Wa Thiong’ wrote his novels ‘Devil on the Cross’ and ‘Matigari’ in Kikuyu and abandoned English, the language of colonizers. ‘Devil on the Cross’ was successful in sales and emerged with 50,000 sold copies.The landmark of indigenous language in African literature.
Linguistic barriers perpetuate the divisions rooted in colonialism preventing literature from Africa to become cohesive in a movement of Pan Africanism.The Uk celebrates English writers from Africa, France endorsed authors in Francophone brackets from Mali Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.
Translations do exist, but it is common for intellectuals to get sponsored by ex-colonies. Further investment in translation in the core for Pan Africa readership and appreciation. Established pan African faculties may be the key to resolving the challengeThe challenge of building local markets and readership remains. The selection of a book in the country’s national curriculum can guarantee sales. Sales need buying power and literature is not prioritized as many live in poverty.
The selection of a book in the country’s national curriculum can guarantee sales. Sales need buying power and literature is not prioritized as many live in poverty. Writings contrast the picture of Africa as a continent of darkness and delusion with narrative posing the eclectic and fruitful real Africa.
The call for Africa to rephrase history had arrived in 1986 when Wole Soyinka took center stage as the dramatist in poetic overtones. Exposing corruption and political injustice was no smooth flowing route, -yet the mission to fade away the myth of Africa being incapable contributes to the need for Africa writing.
At the recent festival in Morogoro, Tanzania, festival organisers were delighted when the legendary Tu Nokwe, the Light of Africa made her way from South Africa to share her light and lead pathways to soul emancipation.