End NOTE on Art

Your art shouldn’t be dirty to be popular

You read that right! Even though people like a wayward art, they don’t take such down the aisle, to momma or to the school dance. In fact, if your art isn’t well-behaved or teaching others to be so directly or indirectly, your art is best placed in hidden corners. Your art is put up in dark places, cal de sac drug mafia kind of dark place and then if your art is hot, it begins to smoke, choke those who love it and if you don’t control yourself, you too begin to hate your art, and it would hate you so that you can’t tell others that this is my art. You would betray your art even without a kiss (not every one is bold like Judas) That’s the point where your art isn’t good to see so it becomes lonely, vomits a crime, is sent to jail and drags the family pen name into the mud: dust to dust kind of shame. Don’t be surprised to know that your art can commit suicide out of frustration.

Don’t be deceived,

Your art came with a Pride package.

It’s fine to feel a little achieved after every moment of survival but learn to curb the ego, alter it a little, don’t give it an altar or the alter-ego takes over and soon, you cannot find your fingerprint even on your finger. Your art become unrecognizable, it is yours but then again, it’s not yours. You cannot own it and so she elopes with her man who looks exactly like you but isn’t you. So when the writer’s block is over, she returns like a prodigal son. You must accept your art back with all of your heart. Then you must throw a party, write a cheque and write a paragraph, a stanza, a verse, a scene. Write quickly so she feels welcome. She… He… It doesn’t matter (Art has no gender)

The last thing I can remember for now is,

The art should have a God.

Not must but should. Here is the plausible list:

  1. God
  2. mammon
  3. and down to your self.

Your art must be owned and feel the need to be accountable.

Which bags the question of why is your art alive? for God, for money or for self. It’s the same thing as for eternity and an everlasting grid, for the end of the month and TGIF sensation or the ATM discharging moment, the grrrrrrr sound or for you. You are a bottomless pit so I don’t know what your art is for if it’s for you.

So on this note, I end this note…

the End.

Guard Your Art With Diligence

Continuing my Notes to Self on the art:

Guard your Art with Diligence
They want your art to reach people and places you, the artist, can’t and wouldn’t reach.

It – the art – has to speak languages you don’t even understand. It has to get to borderlines of war and peace; of oppression and equity. It has to criticize and it has to judge (judge not that you may not be judge? Well your art has been judged!). Your art has to think and make others think. Your art has to trouble the waters and it must not sink when it walks on said-waters. ‘Peace be still‘ will be for your art when you arrive so bring it and most importantly, your art has to be on its own. Be able to live in another house from you, talk differently, talk back at you when you write, play lawn tennis with you even if it’s just you against the wall (pun intended!). Your art must set you against the world. If it doesn’t do this they (check previous post)don’t believe you.

You art has to have a heart.

Your art must fall in love and love others just like it loves itself. Your art must be ready to follow you for sacrifice even when there is no ram in sight (yes! remember Abraham and Isaac?). Your art must walk by faith and not by sight. You must teach your art to pray, to believe; to trust; to own itself because when you are gone, it would be left alone to fight for itself. Your heart must love but it must love you and this is very difficult because your art is a teenager every other day.

Which brings you to the tough one.

Your art must not be raped by the wrong ideology.

In fact your art must keep it’s virginity till… Well forever because if your art becomes a mother of anarchy, wrong doctrine and false perception, the wrong perspective and all the bad secenerios of the world today, you are a bad Parent artist. So curb your art when it talks back at you but listen to your art when it is hungry. When it is angry, admit why and provide the answers why it shouldn’t. Your art is pious if you think it is and it is the best to see this too. On a second thought, your art should get pregnant at the right time. Good art brings good doctrine, wisdom and long life.

Your art has no gender but it is endangered.

Giant-Panda kind of endangered. Your art is not feminist, racist, Marxist masculinist, fascists and all that; you are! You are a bottle, your art is wine and ugly wine-shapes are because the bottles aren’t so beautiful. Not to state the actual scenerio. Your art is bitter because you are. Your art hurts people like knife piercing through the heart almost like a double-edged sword because you either are a swordsman or woman; that or you’ve been equally hurt. Your art is you but don’t try to be your art. It is dangerous.

To be continued

This Art is not Yours I

This world is not my home
I’m just a-passing through

Thank you Jim Reeves, I’ll take it from here now.

(clears his throat)

This is a note I wrote to self about writing because the pressure could sometimes make one forget how to even do what one was ordained to do when it comes to a paper and pen or fingers and an Android phone’s keyboard (in most recent times).

This Art is not yours

We make art – not for ourselves, alone but – for others. And this “others” are people who wait for us in our dreams, when we are awake, in the darkness and and even in the market. In our lifetime, we may never know them even if we want to but they are expectant and as a word of encouragement, they really exist.

They would need your art to say something serious.

Not too serious like SERIOUS so that they don’t mistake you for one without the inclination to have fun but serious in how David kills a Goliath and it gets them asking: how did…?

They want your art to mean something

First to you and then to them but to you first and most importantly to you. Because if you can’t strike the importance of what you give, it’s not even important. This is the space for passion. The kind of drive and blood that keeps you awake even when your body wails for sleep. The motivation to push further so that when you are done crossing the Red Sea, the Pharaoh wouldn’t want to follow because it’s a miracle that you still breathe after making your art.

They want your art to scare you.

Not Casper the ghost scaring humans kind of scare or tattoo all over the face kind but SCARE you. So to meet up, your art stays in your reflection: when you admire yourself, you are reminded; when you walk, you are reminded; when you talk, you can hear two voices arguing and it’s your mouth that is the speaker. Then you ask, who are the people really holding the microphone? That should scare you and that’s another story for another note to self.

This scare is not confusion because you know what it is but it should still scare you. It should scare you in the way Peter was afraid when he denied Jesus trice. That’s the scare they want or else your art isn’t worth it.

To be continued shortly.

Feature Art by Nathan Pieterse


I do not conform to ‘not conforming’. Not to say that I actually conform but to assert by conviction – beyond condition(s) – that I do not. In the essence of my thought, I do not consider conformity an option to be deviated from. It doesn’t exist or for better references to other realities, it shouldn’t exist.

I am however contented with space and design. By this, I mean that I don’t think outside the box. I know that there is a box, and I sit in it, I colour it with the colours of the universe and soon, my box is an endless space of designs I recreate such that every creation, not like the former, is self-defiant to the opposition of God and with the ability to serve it’s own purpose; sometimes, far greater than I had – from the onset – imagined. The reason for this adamancy is because soon, so many think outside the box and out-of-the-box is the new box, the infinite and boundless space becomes bound by a finite hunger to recreate from nothing. In the same way to be like God.

To create is not a flaw but to do so with a flawed hunger to outwit another is the flaw.

In the best design, I am not a supporter of competition. Not competition in the sense of development to learning but in the view of winning at the deliberate expense of another’s life. So, to live at the cost of another’s death isn’t actually living. This is my point of conflict.

Therefore, I don’t question for answer(s), by better reflection, I have come to an understanding that I am not wired to question what is the truth. And opposing the notion that one must question to find truth, I am persuaded that the truth lies in answering the questions of life and not necessarily in questioning for truth. My creation is not a question rather it is an answer to the challenge for which I was created. So this is my mindset, which is in the similitude of proffering solutions in the place of dwelling extensively on the problem.

This has thus formed my thoughts from tot to thinker alike. Perhaps this is also the reason why I demand to answer intentions more than the actions or their inaction counterparts. It is so, that I am aware that the action is only peaceable when the intention is truly peaceable and that even in a peaceable action or inaction the intention must be peaceable otherwise the action is in itself violent. This is also what has beamed my perception to contemporary struggles and movements: for as long as I consider you first a creation of God then a human being and subsequently as belonging to gender: male and female, I do my dealing with you as I would unto all that God has created bearing in mind the truth that God is in all that he has created.

By virtue of this, a consciousness to answer the call of justice isn’t solely by human law but by the conviction of the conscience. This is why conformity doesn’t exist because I recognize a higher place beyond conforming, beyond humanity and beyond the divisions of competition, prejudice and the Hunger to outwit God in others. This is the form off conformity.


Art by Khaled Dawa

“All Writers are Ugly” by Olatunde Obafemi 

It’s funny how, writers (me inclusive) are quite comfortable with showing just a side of their lives. We create, we counsel, we mould, we tell you that we cry and the tears become poetry or stories or the dialogue with our thoughts become the drama or the memoir (what we think we can remember) or the other things we write. We appear strong; even when we say we are weak (because we sometimes are), it becomes a thing of strength: to admit weakness.
Writers are one-sided tools. Honestly, my flaws become a floor and everyone wants to seat and listen to whatever wisdom they can pluck from (it…them). I think we should tell the truth in a balanced view. Let’s show the other side! How we bleed and it doesn’t hurt (and this hurts because it should hurt us when we bleed); how some of us want to simply see colour blue and not think of how many stars lost their lives giving out that pigment to our eyes. I think we should let the world know how difficult it is to easilly tell difficult things and make them look simply difficult (this sentence has gone through reeditting).

I repeat, I think it’s time for writers to show the other side, ugly or uglier. We should be mortal sometimes, affectionate; show that things actually affect us just like they do to everyone. Writers are men, women, spirits and angels; creatures made by the best writer too: God. God is a writer, actually, the writer. We, the writers, are copymice.
Let writers confess: how some of us growl at the feet of Jesus: night and day and how we speak in tongues only angels translate because even we do not know what we say at the time we say what we say. I think writers should stop ignoring the other side. There is another side. It doesn’t flow with milk and honey. We should talk about parts of our lives, like, how we don’t write for days and still smile at everyone like things are okay. How we live by warring within us…okay. I see the point, writers would never tell what they would not tell, but sometimes, I believe we should…embrace the simplicity of our humanity then rush back to who we were made to be from the beginning: writers, seers, scribes, typists (these days) prophets and whatever other name it is that you go by…

​The Writer, the Righter and the Rite of writing IV

                                                 When is the writer?

The writer is in the future lost in the past which is the present.

But the writer would be when the writer is found. The writer writes because the writer wishes to be found. (S)he is lost in time and turns around for every attempt to break free. The writer is timeless. Meeting with new people every century and forgetting them as they die, the writer is immortal. Sometimes, immoral: Him or her. The writer is not yet and The writer will be.

The writer is, when they are born but must be made.

The writer meets the end when beheld by the beginning. Time to the writer is crime and this is the crime of creativity…

​The Writer, the Righter and the Rite of writing III

Disclaimer: This claim is not necessarily where I, the writer, came from. If it looks like where you came from, somehow, then you too are one of those people who look like me. That makes two.

                                                  Where is the writer from? 

The writer came from the place where babies come from.

Between walls of struggle, personal defeats and pain. From streets with open fire, gun violence, cultural eminence, failed states, wrong puntification, skipped purification and many more of those things like power-outtage, civil outrage, missing monies, love for monkeys and casual seduction. From places with intense light, cold nights, buried frights, simple plights like watching a living man die in one’s hands.

The writer came from birth, rebirth and uncertainty. 

The writer might have forgotten how to speak, how to squeak, how to sneak into thoughts when difficult times come: that’s where writers come from. From the forgotten, the begotten or the forsaken.

The writer comes from age to sage. 

The writer comes from rage, and the writer craves beginnings. The writer is from heaven and earth.

The writer is from form but cannot be uniform.

The writer is from the source of all sauce and gloss. The writer doesnt remember where (s)he came from. The writer lives but leaves when origin is no more original. The writer is from root-words, root-wars, from truth, the root of all good and evil. 

The writer is from a tree but did not evolve. 

The writer emerged from where weary hearts were strengthened. The writer is from the future, from the past but has passed the present time. The writer originated from coarse memories to a course worth dying for.

The writer belongs to the divine. 

​The Writer, the Righter and the Rite of writing II

                                                  How is the writer?
The writer is beautiful or thinks (s)he is. They would do a lot to embellish the scars which LIFE has given, so generously. The writer is fine too, fine-tuned but still broken because creativity doesn’t come from a pot with a lid. The writer is cranky, lanky or fat, has a funny consumption order, looks like a vampire, sucks-in experiences so as to live forever in pages which sell, i mean, tell memories for money and recognition. 

The writer is always in a trance but would gladly deny the transition from beast to beat.

The writer is great at being late seeing that they walk outside the time of others, sleeping when others are awake even when they look awake. Day as night and in God’s hands and writers walk on the thin line that separate them. 

The writer is a one-man circus. 

Clown in a toy car but a laugh which actually means pain. The writer is wrong, a two-faced mirror which pleases all but self. They are servants and quite frankly no writer can truly rule without relinquishing the curse of writing, I mean the course. 
The writer is doing well, well is relative and the writer sometimes runs away from relating with others. Solitude is the real best friend and silence is the servant and most trusted. They are secretive, a secret to even themselves.

The writer is ugly but coated as beautiful. 

Nothing is fictive for the writer and the pain of knowing that and not saying is hell although it gives heaven to readers. The writer is dead and the writer lives by being such. The writers will is to do the will of the maker. The writer is not the maker, a second creator but still the created. The writer is not an absolute truth and the earlier this is found, the better for the biggest slave yet undiscovered….

​The writer, the Righter and the Rite of writing

Disclaimer: This claim is for the writer I have become. If it looks like you, somehow, then you too are a writer like me. That makes two.

                                                       Who is the writer? 

The writer is the man and the updated man: (wo)man.  

The writer is the reader too bored of been the receiver. The writer is ready to deceive and be deceived too. The writer is a bridge between two worlds, sometimes between more but these worlds are seldom visited. The writer is a tourist with nothing but memories. 

The writer is blind but sees all. 

The writer is a prophet with no prophecies for self. The writer has a goal or goals but has a score of problems. From addictions with perfect diction to obsession with obscene natures, the writer tries to be human but sometimes, fails to answer the question: who is (wo)man?

The writer is right but then again the writer is wrong. The wrong song, sung; the wrong tongue, untamed. The writer is the idea, the dare devil, the fretful being, the paradox, the last mistake and the first morning mist with an ache. 

The writer is all and these days, none. Nonetheless the writer is the anointed and the annoyed. The writer has a reason to exist and after this is settled, the writer knows where the exit is (the writer is the one that doesn’t use that option).

The writer is the catalyst, the writer is the analyst, the writer is the least of the worries of the righteous but the writer is a wheel, with a drive. Folly drives the writer away, wayward thoughts tempt the writer. The writer is the tempter, the trumpeter, the puppeteer, the prompter, the trouble and the bubble ready to burst. The writer is the right person who knows but sometimes battles to do.

The writer lacks and has pigment. 

The writer is a filament, a dream, a tree when it has not been trimmed. The writer is a forge, a fire that sometimes burns self. The writer is the friend, fiend but not the end