THE POWER OF IDEAS

I CANNOT remember who said it, but someone once said that there is nothing more powerful in the entire world than an idea whose time has come.

Indeed this very world according to scripture was spoken into existence by the Lord God Almighty. In short, this world came about as a result of God’s creative concept.

Then God made Man in his own image ie with a potency that comes from his creative ability. Today, several epochs down the line, humans who started off in a garden have been responsible for the creation and invention of many brilliant contraptions and technology that has at the same time moved civilisation forward as well as threatening to extinguish it !

Dreams to gold
Innovative ideas have led thousands from fortune to fame. Many of the world’s businesses started off as concepts that bothered their possessors till they began to execute them.

Steve Jobs was a listless college dropout when he met future collaborator and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Jobs had been what can be called a bum, dabbler in eastern mysticism, psychedelia and other unproductive pursuits such as watching television for hours on end.

His biography is well documented and I will not bother you with details. The moral of this tale is that this same guy is now famous for altering the way we work and live in the 21st Century via the invention of the Macintosh computer abbreviated Mac and related products iPhone, iTunes and iPad.

The Apple brand is well loved for the ingenuity of the design and the functionality of its product lines.

No grand plan starting out
Of course Jobs did not have a grand plan when he set out as a young dreamer who society might have dismissed as a failure after dropping out of college.

But when he met with other minds of purpose (such as Wozniak and Bill Gates), he crystallised his vision and became a formidable innovator and shrewd businessman.

Today he has bequeathed a multi-billion dollar company to the world after passing away in 2011 due to cancer. Jobs is reportedly said to have summarised his life maxim as follows: “You’ve got to find what you love.

And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.

And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.”

He had given the talk to graduates at Stanford University in 2005 in a speech entitled “How to live before you die”.

Amakhosi Township Square
After a recent consultative meeting at Amakhosi Township Square, Cont Mhlanga narrated the story of Amakhosi’s origins to me as I stood with AfroPlatinum Records chief executive officer Reason Sibanda and comedian Babongile Sikhonjwa. Amakhosi started out as an idea in Mhlanga’s mind as he saw township youth not having a place to nurture their artistic dreams.

It took Mhlanga close to ten years to begin to see the vision materialise. People who might have been pivotal to the establishment of the centre died along the way.

The path to the centre took, among other things, an overseas trip to Germany by the then town clerk Mike Ndubiwa. “He was shocked when we got to Germany to see how as artists we were held in such high esteem by the locals.

He was chauffeur-driven in a limo and put in a five-star hotel all because of artists who had come to perform,” spoke Mhlanga as he reminisced about Amakhosi’s beginnings.

Cont Mhlanga

Cont Mhlanga

Nothing in a minute
When Ndubiwa came back he hastily facilitated the administrative process that led to the centre’s establishment. By the way, the architects who designed the centre were students at Nust.

This mere fact alone substantiates the claim that Mhlanga is a believer in young talent whatever mistakes he may make as a man. More crucially is the fact that nothing worthwhile in life shapes up overnight. It takes guts, a certain madness and iron clad tenacity.

Creative Sector concepts
I will tell you now that the current Skyz Connect and former Link-up to Bulawayo were spawned out of a concept I presented to Star FM.

After having submitted a copy to my then client the Financial Gazette, I would have excess material in terms of arts news stories left unpublished. It was frustrating. I conceived the idea of having a radio show or bulletin focussing on the arts and culture in Bulawayo.

I approached a certain producer at the station who had come to Bulawayo for a wedding ceremony. Sikhonjwa was the master of ceremony at the event. I shared the idea with him and he thought it was a great one.

The producer told me his station was looking for concepts. Later, the show which I had titled The Hook Up would run every Wednesday during drive time for five minutes with DJ Otis Fraser on Wednesday. I would come on and give run down of events as Kudita Southside.

Gibson Ncube later was roped in by Otis to do Fridays.

On and on it went till some internal matters arose at the station and they shelved the concept in the later part of 2013. I moved to this paper in December of that year to start another creative concept in Culture Beat which already existed in cyberspace as CultureBeatAfrica.com a website dedicated to arts and culture news that I had founded.

Idea serving a community
Needless to say that ZFM later were approached by Ncube who named the same concept Link up To Bulawayo. The concept was a relative success because it helped force the Bulawayo music agenda in to national discourse.

That had been part of my vision because this place is cultural hotbed that has endured years of neglect. Today my original concept at Star FM has been resurrected as Skyz Connect and hosted by Langa Ndlovu.

I am gratified and humbled that an idea God gave me is helping feed two people. I have not received credit but yes, boldly, let me not hide from this truth and tell it.

The reason is that you may be toying with an idea that might change someone’s life. Kindly execute it with vigour and perseverance. By all means try to protect it because there are those that live off stealing ideas too! Stuff like that occurs in the so-called market of ideas.

Poetry night
Please take care to diarise and attend poetry night every Thursday night from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at Indaba Book Cafe. The initiative was begun by Tswarelo Mothobi another gifted young creative and initiator of various creative sector projects in this beloved city.

Last week amaBooks launched Textures a poetry collection by John Eppel and Togara Muzanenhamo. It is a powerful collection and some of the poems were read out to a multihued audience at the venue.

Parting, parting shot
Now as I sign off with the closing of this paper I want you to know that Culture Beat Africa will continue to exist as a force to reckon with. The founder is one who is passionate about creativity and innovation.

In the meantime as a writer and in the near future as an attorney I will be fronting the cause of all creatives in one way or the other.

I have been glad to write for all of you and you know I always wrote from passion and with passion. Hopefully I made a difference.

Thank you readers and my chiefs Kholwani Nyathi and Njabulo Ncube for the platform!

Mhlangaact: Twitter @amkudita, editor@culturebeatafrica

www.culturebeatafrica.com

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