When they say love your neighbor as yourself, not just the beautiful ones; the ones wearing the kind of dresses you love, even those you feel don’t deserve it. – Slum Art Foundation Co-founder, Adetunwase Adenle; A 4-time Guinness World Record holder and Art Educationist.
When you think you’ve seen it all, that’s all you’ve seen. During the 2019 Slum Art “Jollof Rice Party” celebration, I had a thrilling experience with the children. It was fun dancing, cheering and also giving strange expressions to lighten up those burdened faces. I ate Jollof rice too ooo (you don’t think I won’t, do you?😋) but most of all, I was fascinated by an incidence that I watched play into my reality; One of the guests brought her daughter along to celebrate with other children (her age mates, maybe grade mates too), it was her birthday, but the little girl was sad. She was prejudiced on what her day should look like. Apparently, she wore the most beautiful dress in the setting, but she wasn’t in the most beautiful place. She was in the slum!
Remember that expressionless thought that leads to a dismissed sound of “yuck!” that slips off your mouth when you speak about a particular thing you dislike… Why do you give it at the very beginning of a discussion about the slum🤨? Is it the naturally induced reaction or a perspective tilt? –You know better.
Reading her expression was an easy task, disgust! My senses were right, after all, I heard her mutter some polite complains in her mother whose ears received it with a smile of understanding. She promised her a cart-ful time at Shoprite, but she had to learn the importance of where she currently was. It was not just the place, it was the people –Children, in this case, they were no different from her.
The slum is a place, just like the GRA. But the people there are Govenment’s Real Aches, most times neglected and remembered when funds are needed or during celebrations. Government Aid is the disguise, but how do you change a man only by changing what he puts on? – Sustainability issues.
There’s been a spring up of myriads of Non-governmental organisations that have taken it upon themselves to help out in this aspect but have their approach muddled up.
So, the slum has become a place where good things are ship dropped but not taught to the people; a well that keeps on taking in but never is fetched from because in reality, it is not made or refurbished to carryout that function. Real change begins from the mind, not from the mouth! (I love to eat and have all the edibles, wearables and useables that you’ll want to give😁, but it doesn’t mean I don’t understand the truth about paradigm and its positive shift.)
The party went well, and so was her happiness as she was able to find a level ground of truth about humanity within; We’re all humans. We all walk; we all can dance in one way; we are all equal, just that some are privileged to be on the good side of life, as it is termed. To bridge this gap, we learn to “love one another as we love ourselves,” for only then can we do unto others what we want others to do to us!
So, I’ve been mentioning “Slum Art” multiple times in this post, and you probably wish to know what it means right? I’ll let you in on this😉.
Most children in the slum can’t and don’t go to school due to lack of funds or thereabout. Slum Art, in its way, brings school to these children. If art is a form of expression and teaching children especially how to channel their expressions into a beautiful art piece could be a form of independence for each of them, even mentally, why not do so👀? Well, this is the major result slum art tends to achieve through various projects –taking art to the slum and teaching children all about art.
Slum Art visits slums to make the children into ones who can fend for themselves using art as a channel.
Find out more about Slum Art Foundation and how to partner with them via their social media platforms;
Twitter & IG: @SlumArt1
Remember, don’t just give direction, show it!
If you show people the light, they’ll find a way. – U.Mark
I know for sure, you found this a worthy read, do well to share…and Comment😁!