This week I had great fun attending a conversation between some of the superheroes that will be highlighted on this corner of the great World Wide Web. They spoke about content creation and execution during these covid-19 days and what that means for the artist. I will just highlight some of the few pointers that stood out for me over the next couple of days.
Today’s superhero is PABLO! Comedian. Father. Friend. He spoke about that famous ominous word:
This word makes my veins shiver perhaps because it sounds like some villain from a Pixar animation movie. There is nothing “PRO” about not receiving remuneration for work you envisioned, conceived and executed. I have heard this excruciating term one too many times. And I notice there are two types of clients that use this word.
The first are the type I appreciate. They genuinely wish to reward you for your effort. Not because they consider it “support” but because they honestly believe in good work being paid but they just don’t have the funds. This kind I understand. But there is another kind. The kind that throw the word Pro Bono around like toddlers who have just learned to say Mama. This kind can even steal your work mid-way, claim it as theirs and behave as if you never had a discussion. These latter kind are scattered all over Kampala. If they are in other parts of the world, let me know.
Kenneth Kimuli (Pablo) brought up the fact that pro bono work for the artist has increased during Covid-19. Understandably. However, he said something that pricked my ears. He said artists should take advantage of this low budget season to converse with, tag-team with, and collaborate with other creative’s whom in a better economic season would charge a lot for their dialogue with you. He said, “This is an opportunity for people to see what else they can do.” Don’t throw pity-parties for your fallen trade. Learn a new one or learn a new way of doing your old one. Basically, roll with the punches.
I’ve seen Pablo walk this talk up close. He knows how to expertly tap dance between pro bono gigs and funded gigs, bringing his “A” game to both. One of the things I most admire about Pablo is his ability to maintain relationship and remember names. This endears him to so many people. One day I spent the whole day with him traversing meeting after meeting and he had a rapport with literally everyone. Bank tellers, Boda cyclists, security guards, government officials, private sector officials, receptionists…everyone. He knew their name, their husband or wife’s name, where they first met, the conversation they first had. Everything! And I’m seated there like… I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night. People like Pablo are dangerous geniuses. In the performance industry relationship is everything and I’ve gained so much learning from just being with Pablo who has taught me that you reap what you sow. Thanks Pablo!
Catch Pablo on PABLO LIVE TV: