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  • Arthur Sempebwa

Culture, Creativity & Christ - pt 1

Updated: Aug 4


Let's set the scene:


Kampala. 1986


Heads turn in an overcrowded corridor of Mulago hospital, as a loud scream sends shockwaves through the humid Ugandan air. A young man desperate to see what the commotion is about locates the sound to a small room that can just about fit a double bed. He finds two nurses and a slim beautiful woman in her mid-twenties, sweating profusely and tired of exhaustion. He enters at his peril.


“Are you the doctor?” She asks struggling to get every word out. Bemused, he shrugs his head to imply no. Needless to say, his confusion turns to shock as he watches a sapatu (slipper in Luganda) swish across the room like a boomerang towards his face. Time slows in motion as he tries to evade the inevitable. BAM! Too late. His bottom lip acts as a springboard for the sapatu, which to everyone’s amazement bounces back to her hand. He too made a sound that turned heads in the corridor that afternoon.


Soon after the young man leaves to go find some sense, a tall middle-aged man wearing a white overcoat enters the room with authority. Walking to the woman’s bedside he takes the sapatu out of her firm grip, smiles, and motions to the nurses to prepare for delivery.


2 hours later.


The crackling screams of a newborn baby fill the room and the nurse takes the child to the relieved mother.


“It’s a boy” she says.


“No,” said the mother as she softly rubbed the little baba’s cheeks .


“It’s a miracle.”


Born Creative?

Okay, maybe it didn’t go down like that, but hey it's my blog. Let’s pretend it did. And mum if you’re reading this, you know I’m like this 🤷🏾‍♂️. Love you mama!


When we enter this world, we come with a raw imagination, brimming with untapped creative potential. I call it genius! As kids growing up, my cousins and I used to make our own toys. Instead of lego, we had wire, sticks, and imagination. We would make cars, action figures and nothing beat finding a random car tire, sliding two long sticks on either side of it, and racing it down a dusty road.


I find that young children can put a high demand on their creativity because there are no financial, cultural or social constraints hindering them. The older we get life sedates our imaginations, causing us to be more rational and more serious, because that’s what growing up is all about. 


Or is it?


I like how Walter Issacson puts it in his biography of the world-famous Leonardo Da Vinci;


“Leonardo had almost no schooling and could barely read Latin or do long division. His genius was of the type we can understand, even take lessons from. It was based on skills we can aspire to improve in ourselves, such as curiosity and intense observation. He had an imagination so excitable that it flirted with the edges of fantasy, which is also something we can try to preserve in ourselves and indulge in our children.” Walter Issacson - Leonardo Da Vinci: The biography

I didn’t know it at the time but running around with my village friends, being silly, playing with wires and old batteries, birthed something in me. Perhaps this is where my creative journey began.


Roots

Some memories of my childhood are patchy and as the years passed I even forgot what my close family relatives looked like...but memories of me creating stuff seemed to stay. But why? I haven't been back home in over 20 years but I can see my African roots embedded through the tapestry of my content.


Yes, 20 years!!! We’ll talk about this in part 2.


I created this blog to inspire someone out there to unleash their creativity. I wanted it to be honest, real…not just regurgitated self-help tips found on social media but something with substance, written by a human for humans.


I’m growing, I’m changing…so is my approach to creating in general. I believe we learn best through stories, so why not join me as I take you on my personal journey filled with art, wonder, and a little bit of silliness. See the world through the eyes of a village boy who migrated to England, had a culture shock, got addicted to creativity and lived to write a blog about it.


Buckle up. Part 2 coming soon.


And oh, my friend…you are a miracle😉!

 

Hey, if you enjoyed this post, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below. If you like the artwork and would like to how to see how good it looks on you, then check out my 👉 store.


Arthur



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