let me start with Peter Mabeo. He spoke with such passion about design that I expected at any moment, to find myself in design heaven. He went on to say that his work is a labour of love, and I believed him because every word he uttered, clearly came straight from the heart.
I wanted to ask him so many questions, but the five minutes after his talk was not enough for me to find out from him how he came to be Peter Mabeo. Later, I got the chance to chat him for a while and I asked him many questions of this nature: 'What if you had failed? What if it did not work? What keeps you going? ...and on and on I ask, eagerly.
Bibi Seck then beckons and asks us to join him at the table. From Bibi too, I seek answers. He looks at me intently but then starts to joke about my eye glasses rather than answer my profound questions. Clearly, I am not going to get all the answers to life in one evening but I get to joke with Bibi, the suave senegalese designer who lives and works in New york. He says 'bon!' quite often, revealing his french accent, which is to die for, and his designs are not half bad either!
So now, here I am, sitting with Seck and Mabeo in the evening after a conference and we go on so lightheartedly that, for a while, I imagine I am among my equals. But Bibi Seck and Peter Mabeo are anything but. They are giants! Any attempts to describe the magnitude of their accomplishments will be futile. I will therefore leave it to you to find out who they are and why I am still wallowing in the excitement of having met them.
Back in my small, little world, I am nervous over a three minute speech. See, this three minute speech is like a speed talk about my research at the Diversity week celebrations in Stellenbosch university. In an advertisement about the talk, students and the public have been invited to come 'cheer and jeer' at the 10 'brave' PhD candidates who have courteously agreed to do the impossible and explain their work in only three minutes.
It does not help at all that someone has just told me that three minutes are only enough to say the title of my research. Off I go then, hopefully to be cheered rather than jeered. either way, you will be the first to hear about it.
Labels: African designers, Bibi Seck, Gaborone, GIDEC2013, Peter Mabeo, University of Botswana