In June we hosted our first Young African Creatives Conference and invited Afripedia founders Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe to share their projects and the pulse of creativity in Africa.
CN: Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do
Senay Berhe: My name is Senay Berhe. I'm a filmmaker, photographer and co founder of Afripedia. I run an independent production company called Stocktown Films along with my business partners, where I work as a director, producing documentaries and commercial work.
Teddy Goitom: Teddy Goitom co- founder of Afripedia.com, I sometimes don't know what I do, but my official title is producer and director. Travel is my game and I snore sometimes.
CN: What does a normal day look like for you?
Senay: I'm a morning person and I like to get up early. I start my day by working out or go for a walk and try to get as much work done before lunch, but each day is different.
Teddy: My only routine is to take a swim for forty five minutes per day, other than that, everything is unnormal for me.
Talk to us about Afripedia, what inspired the series?
Teddy: Afripedia started out as a new five-part documentary series about the generation of rising African creative talents that are challenging preconceptions and stereotypes. Afripedia's next step is to evolve into a new discovery platform and a visual guide showcasing the bright creatives, the makers and shapers, the builders and branders, the tasters and stockers, the places and faces of the creatives of Africa and the world. Our inspiration came out most of curiosity and frustration of lack of stories from media on creativity from Africa as well as our own urge to connect with talented artists.
How did you go about searching for artists to feature in the series, what was your selection process?
Teddy: We discovered a lot of stories by researching a number of online blogs and through social media, we were in communication with a lot of people in the growing urban culture scene in major African cities. Our selection process comes out of what we like individually and looking for a DIY (do it yourself) attitude and many of their works are influencing, challenging and changing the perspective of how we see Africa and Africans.
CN: What do you think is the pulse of creativity in Africa in 2017?
Senay: It's hard to address collectively, but in my opinion I believe that collaboration is a current theme.
Teddy: Still creatively strong, and interesting point of time for investment in the creative culture scene.
CN: Which African creative’s work have you been looking at lately? Who should we be looking at now?
Senay: Creatives that have created their own visual language and that have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, Selly Raby Kane is a great example of this.
Teddy: I have quite a few creatives I'm looking at now like; the remarkable series of photographer Girma Berta from Ethiopia and curator of Streets Of Addis. Ghanaian artist Jojo Abot, expressing herself through music, film/photography, literature and performance art and Tweli G, a Nairobian artist living in Tokyo and rapping in Japanese.
What advice do you have for young African creatives?
Senay: Collaborate, stay curious, shape your own narrative and keep working
Teddy: Be always ready for change and travel as much as you can, both near and far, Its medicine for your creative spirit.
What does creativity mean to you?
Senay: Creativity for me generally means coming up with solutions or ideas for work related or daily obstacles, its problem solving even if you create the problem yourself to solve.
Teddy: Freedom, connection and opportunities.
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