Since I can remember my biggest dream was always to travel across Africa. When I was a child I used to watch on the TV ‘Alle Falde del Kilimanjaro’. It was the only TV program I would watch (except that I used to watch a loads of cartoons too). It was all about Africa. The animals, the many different tribes, the landscapes, the food, the traditional dresses, the culture … .I was absolutely amused by these traditions. As a child I never been interested in television. I hated it. I was never a kid that would sit at home and do homework or watch tv. I was just not set for the indoor life sort of speak. I was also a bookworm. I never studied school books and yet was doing very well. I mean I was what teacher would call a quick learner. That’s because I loved to read books about politics, sociology and psychology. So throughout time I built a terminology that helped me to bluff my teachers. Most of the time I didn’t know what a fuck I was talking about, indeed. Teachers were very amused by my sophisticated language nonetheless I completely lost it when I started to learn other languages.
One of the books which literally changed my perception of Africa were ‘The Other’ of Kapuscinski and ‘out of Africa’ of K. Blixen. They were incredibly mind-blowing for me. The description of the landscapes, the social and political background, the people, the dresses and the culture. Everything was described in a very flowing and amusing way that I fell in love with it. By the age of 18 I thought ‘I dream Africa, I want to go there’. I didn’t know that I would accomplish this dream 10 years later. Fuck already 10 years.
After my graduation in June I was planing with my sister to go to Mexico in the winter. I would start the trip with her and then carry on my own for the rest of the journey. Unfortunately one month later she was run over by a van while she was cycling to work. She broke her humerus and also her soul was quite damaged. It has been a very hard time for her. Bless her soul. She is doing very well now. Soon after I was doing my usual summer trip across South of Europe. When I was back I had to take a decision and also quickly. I started to apply to some jobs, but strangely I was getting no response. I look at it as a sign and I start to question myself ‘What a fuck am I doing here?’ ‘my sister now is good, she is recovering and she is independent again’ ‘no jobs so far’, ‘who needs me here?’, ‘nobody’. Thoughts were bouncing for all the summer in my mind. I needed to get away. After being stable in London for 3 years I really didn’t see the point to stay. I finished University. I achieved my goals after juggling commissioned work and University bullshits. I could finally take advantage of my privileged time and also of the money I saved. For 3 years I did not have time for social life so I saved up quite a good amount of money. So I start to think more seriously to jump the ship and to start a new adventure. Moreover I wanted to bring my art where there wasn’t any, where would it be appreciated and considered more, and where it would make a real impact on people’s lives. So a dream bounced back in my mind: Africa. I was ready. When I started University I was working 35 hours a week plus I had to attend a full time Uni course. I was so stressed that I ended up to have my back completely blocked. Everything was hurting. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t go to uni. I was broke. Anyway just before my injury in the bar where I was working I met Shyam. He would become one of my best mate and later also my chance to get an art residency in Kenya. While I was serving beers to him we started to chat. He was a Kenyan musician and played in an orchestra called ‘Masika Africa’ (check them out, they really good!). I knew from that moment that first of all we would become really good friends and also that he could be an opportunity for me to get a contact for the Kenyan’s Art world. This was almost 4 years ago. Well I was right. We really became good friends and thanks also to him I was ready to raise the sail of the world.
So I finally made the big step: booking the ticket to Kenya. I finally clicked on the button ‘buy a ticket’ and a new sensation crossed my body. Shaking, I ran downstairs and with my eyes full of tears I shouted to my sister ‘I made it’ I fucking made it! , ‘I am going to Kenya’, ‘I am going to Africa’. Finally my dream was coming through and so felt free again.