Update from Qudus' blog

Jun 9, 2011

Wisdom is like garment.

Hello Friends.

If my calculation is right, its been months that I haven't blogged on this facebook page... you know, when a fowl perches on a rope, the fowl will not be at rest and the rope will not rest either. Sometimes life gets so busy that you forgot to do some other important things, but when a blacksmith is striking only one spot on the iron, there must be a particular design he wants to achieve.

It is my belief that a work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. One will naturally worry about the death of a man, who survives a civil war, only to die in a students' riot. As an artiste, from time to time, we need time to worry, contemplate our solitude and have something else to say about our solitude, beyond its unhappiness or opposition to collectivity, to that collectivity whose happiness one usually says is in opposition to solitude.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately, so it has not given me much impulse to write. It is funny how we can totally lose interest in writing when we encounter some good books, or excellent piece of writings. But let me just say the doctor is never tired of mentioning the names of those he healed successfully. A lot had happened since my time out and let's say this note is a recap.

Since last September, I have been jumping from one project to another, from one country to another, from four cities in Brazil to about ten African countries, I returned in December, then I started working with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet, in the multiple award winning piece BABEL. In the midst of all that, I made a quick trip to Paris and Johannesburg in February to perform my solo piece "My Exile..." where i got a wonderful acceptance and ovation, I returned again to Europe, to tour simultaneously in three different works (my solo piece + the screening of my film "do we need cola cola to dance", Heddy Maalem's piece and BABEL). I was as well invited by CNAC, as part of the alumni, to participate in the celebration of the 25th year and opening ceremony of the new improved CNAC. *Wink*

Following my contribution to the Europe – Africa conference in Annecy last year, I was invited to be part of the founding members of a new African think tank and leadership forum “ASPEN AFRICA”. I was also nominated for TEDGlobal Fellowship; I made it to the final selection but "Unfortunately, due the to phenomenal nature of all of our applicants, we are unable to offer you a Fellowship for TEDGlobal 2011." Never mind, fate will bring them back to you, I told myself. Not long after, I got another news that VIVA RIVA, the movie by Djo Munga, in which I choreographed in 2008, had won "Best African Movie" at the MTV Movie Awards! After sweeping 6 awards at the Africa movie academy awards out of 8 nominations, and the best-featured film at the Pan African film festival.

In April I became an artist in residence at the Centre National de la Danse (CND) and started work on my new creation "STILL / life" for Festival d’Avignon this July, in which I’m collaborating with some brilliant individuals. In the midst of all that, I had my wedding to prepare, I moved to Lagos for my wedding with my beloved soul mate on the 28th of May. In a “normal” and ideal life, I should be honeymooning now, but only a warrior that returned from a war, can boast of the potency of his charms. Festival d‘Avignon is no place for honeymoon.

After Avignon, I will be heading to Lagos again to choreograph in the first edition of the TV reality show ‘Dance 234’, in that period, I’ll be part of the planning committee for a Tourism Pilot Project in Osun state, and also make a quick trip to Abidjan for the first international conference of ASPEN AFRICA, in preparation of the G20 meeting in Nice – France. After which I shall also be choreographing a new piece “We Dance We Pray” for Vuyani dance theatre in Johannesburg, from there I’ll be heading to perform at the Nairobi Dance forum.

In all of these however, what I have realized is that biting your opponent in fight can be count as part of the fight, life is but a bunch of paradoxes and sometimes you see its beauty popping out in the most weird forms, in a little summary of my existence, I can say it is only your vocation in life and the things you dedicate your life to, that will determine the kind of people you will attract. For as long as a drop of honey draws more flies than a bucket of water, my life will remain a “work in progress”. It is hopeless to focus our attention on a single direction in life. A time comes in ones life, when it becomes so important to focus on the construction of one’s home as much as one’s career, to be deeply involved in one's spiritual wellbeing as much as one’s social engagement, to sow seeds in every single individual we encounter, as much as we need to pay jealous attention to the construction of our humanity, to a certain verticality that will add up to our virtues. ME I'm still trying to figure out what a successful living means, but I know strongly that wisdom is like garment, every person wears his own about.