We can make it big too!

Written by Gabriel Lando & Mercy Achieng

“WE CAN MAKE IT BIG TOO’…this was our motto this specific day. On 10th December 2011 some of the HHFL art members embarked on a trip that made some of us realize our hidden talents and dreams. Not only did we notice that, we also got motivated that we are all capable of doing great things no matter how hard the start might appear.

We gathered at the HHFL grounds exactly at eight o’clock ready to start the fabulous day! We could clearly see envy on the faces of the other kids; very unfortunate that not all of them could go. Our first stop was Gallery Watatu – they support and promote contemporary African art and was founded by three English men; Jonny Waite, Robin Anderson and David Hart. The name ‘Watatu’-meaning ‘THREE’ in Swahili refers to the three founders.

We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Kofi Osegi from Ghana, the Managing Director of Gallery Watatu. He spoke with this accent that we all found humorous. He showed us around the gallery and the art we saw was marvelous! We also noticed how well organized and planned the gallery was; the pictures neatly hung on the wall, everything in place and very attractive – maybe that’s why the gallery is well known around Nairobi. Now we know why Mama Hanne frequently insists on good planning!

We later had a talk from Mr. Kofi. He emphasized that we all should work hard at what we are best at. Everyone was all ears, could a fly pass right in front of their faces, no one would even notice!

Our next stop was at Kuona Trust. We were introduced to the ushers at the gate who informed us that it was an Open Day for the organization, showcasing samples of art by skilled youth. Everyone was given entry tickets.

Kuona Trust is a non-profit organization that supports many upcoming artists in Kenya. What really caught our attention was their motto: ADVANCING THE SKILLS AND OPPORTUNITIES OF CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ARTISTS TO CREATE INNOVATIVE WORLD CLASS ART IN KENYA. We thought; ‘surely are we those artists they are referring to?’

We visited different stalls where the artists presented their art. What we majorly noticed is that the majority of artists were youth; both male and female. So that was a learning point! The MC of the day had a basket full of tickets that resembled the ones we had. She was to pick any ticket at random and the owner of the number picked was to get a prize. TENSION! FINGERS CROSSED! BREATHING HARD!

‘Could it be mine?’…help me Lord! This was everyone’s prayer. ‘Ticket number 54’…oh no. Not mine. ‘Neither is it mine….Too bad!’ But wait a minute, that’s the number on Sharon’s’ ticket! GO! GO! GO! Bravo! You just got yourself lucky. Sharon, one of our own, got a prize of an enormous flower – colour paint on hard canvas material. The framed picture was so big and we all stormed the stage just to hold our prize. A GLORIOUS MOMENT FOR HANNEHOWARDFUND!

All smiles, jolly faces and heads high…is that the spirit we should maintain? Definitely. We also got entertained by the theatre company but we realized we are better than them – they should watch this space!

‘Day gone’. We had to say goodbye as it was time to rush home. Hooray! We have this prize with us and more are to come! That’s why we are sticking to our motto: WE TOO CAN MAKE IT BIG!

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