I fell asleep the day before the Interstellar Program was set to begin with one powerful wish in mind. I wish…
It’s only a few who dare to chase a passion to its fruition. It’s also a few who feel moved to ask the universe for a dash of magic and move to a beat of tenacity. It’s a few who dance to a beautiful unique pattern, carved by their very own vision and walk faithfully with a bold conviction that one day, all that’s in their head could become real. This is a story of the creatives who represent many others, different in their own ways but the same with a desire to truly live.
I woke up the next morning and decided I had packed too many clothes. I spent an hour trying to decide which outfits to pair. Placing my displaced anxiety on a bunch of clothes I probably wasnt going to wear. I realized time was not on my side. I tried to hurry and rushed to the bus while the Kay Media Africa team was calling me to caution me from being left behind. I made it on time, 5 minutes before departure time, phew! I met Keith by the bus as he handed me my ticket. Keith, one of the team leaders from Kay Media Africa, has a quiet “put together” demeanor to him. He would prove to be the perfect “big brother”.
The idea of the Interstellar program felt more like the big brother house for creatives, without shower hour ofcourse and with a different kind of chemistry required between the participants . I hop in the bus, grateful to be finally settling in. I sat right next to Ngoni who was wearing a black cap. He was going to be taking footage of us the whole entire time during the program. He hands me a lollipop and tells me how obsessed with them he was. I accept but remember I’d had too much sugar the previous day so I put it away in my purse to enjoy later. On my right Keith and Patrick, the DJ and mix engineer who came all the way from London were chatting away. They were talking about something… about creative something something… I dozed off as their loud voices started to fade in my head. I felt really exhausted before it even began. My anxiety had worn me down. At some point I woke up with my mouth open and realized that Ngoni guy, the one with the camera, may take a picture or a video of me at any time he felt inspired. Some of these photographers and videographers prefer the most weird things to show, just to prove how expressive they are. Kind of like when they decide to do daily diaries of their poor victims as they look like death just before they go to bed or as they have breakfast with some gravy streaks on their cheeks. Ngoni looked like that type of a photographer, the type who would want to capture the rawness of a moment. I don’t trust him, I thought, so I put my mask on. At least if he decided to take any footage, I would look a little decent without my mouth parting like the Red Sea. Safety first. I dozed off again.
As we approached Bulawayo, Ngoni nudged me to wake me up. Just like how he had nudged me when we passed an accident scene, or to tell me he loved jelly babies, right on time to disturb that delightful peak of an addictive delicious bus snooze. A stank eye would have been an appropriate response to his abominable behavior, but no, because I’m so “proper”, I pretend to be grateful that he woke me up. “Thanks,” I say and smile at him. He grins back, I bet feeling like a superstar.
While waiting for the transport to the “secret location” to arrive, we meet the singer and songwriter Novuyo, a short young lady who seemed very reserved at first but is a real life fire cracker. She was trying to get a hold of Tafadzwa the storyboard and comic artist who would be also part of the team. As soon as Tafadzwa enters the vehicle, his wide grin reaches every corner of the van. We set off to what would be our new home for the next few days, at a secret location, with strangers… the perfect setting for the beginning of a classic horror film.
We step on to a beautiful home, perfectly manicured and adorned with cozy furniture. It was the perfect retreat as we all had our own private beautiful creative spaces as well as places to sit as a team and congregate. By then we had already started established the dark artists, those who drew their art from a painful place but no one could surpass Tafadzwas’ dark levels. Looking at him with his huge grin, you’d never suspect the stuff that went through his head. He loves imagery that reaks blood and gruesome vampire toothbites. He confesses his fascination started as a young boy after his father had strictly told him not to watch a certain horror movie because it wasn’t for kids. But ofcourse he waited until his father would be gone so that he could indulge in the forbidden fruit and he was hooked from then. The beautiful curse of the dark artist began.