There is no better time than the present to explore the creative parts of your personality. Being quarantined alone and trying to find the ways to fill the time has left me wondering about my the ability to create.
Most days I spend scrolling through Instagram looking for inspiration. While my creative bone is hard to find, I noticed that most of the artists on my feed are European and trained. I went down a wormhole trying to find someone who looks like me, maybe even from the same place as me. African artifacts from colonialist times litter Western museums. A look into the past of what we used to do. How we used to create and express ourselves. But if you look at modern art museums today, our names are clearly lacking.
Going through my school system, I am lucky to say that I had art classes. Sporadic and rarely ever completed, they created spaces for the students to explore outside of mathematics and science. Developing countries have to focus on improving their economic situations through hard sciences and skills. However, I remember those rare art classes taught us more about ourselves and patience than any math class ever taught me. I remember looking around the class and seeing some of the work that my classmates did. They were great at using space, playing instruments, directing plays and excelled when given the chance. But because they struggle at biology or history, they were not deemed smart.
The arts have taken a back seat in developing countries for a while now. Our traditions have been rooted in our arts. The songs we sing, the clothes we wear. Our cultures are colorful and lively, yet
we do not reward those who continue to express these aspects of themselves. Artists in all forms need more support and better platforms to do what they do best.
-by Sekelile Mkhabela