The Questions 100 — No. 7: Kay on Being Transformed By New Places and Spaces




“I was likely to travel because of work and I was curious when I was young and I got to go to places that I never could have imagined. And when I was there, my experience there was mind-blowing. And I fell in love with the reality of being removed from your environment and experiencing something else. So it was totally surreal for me. Because I experienced it for myself, I said I want more of this. I want more of this. I want more of this. And by experiences I mean, I got to meet cool people. I got to learn a lot. I got to drink different beer from the one that we have in South Africa. And I got to do things that I couldn’t think about. I got to play simple card games that I didn’t know. 

"The Questions 100," Kay

Like the first time I played poker wasn’t in South Africa and I didn’t know what it was. So by the lived experience, I mean those kinds of things and the food obviously and that for me, I was like I want more. I want more. I want more of that. That’s the one part of why I love traveling and seeing the world beyond South Africa. I grew up in Joburg, but I wasn’t born in Joburg. I came here much later. By later, I mean when I was 12 to go to high school. I realized there was so much more than Zebediela or Limpopo and in that time I realized that I could never limit myself to Zebediela. I mean I’m Zebediela forever, but I’m not going to live and die there and the more I got to travel, that applied to the country as well. Even the province; I’m not going to live and die in Joburg. I’m not going to live and die in South Africa either.

"The Questions 100," Kay

So this wall is not my idea first and foremost. It’s Candy Chang. She’s an American street artist. So I do TED events in South Africa, TED in Soweto and she spoke at TED Global. She had made this wall. So her mom was going to die or her mom was dying and there was this abandoned wall in her community. And she was talking to her mother about the things she would like to do or achieve before she dies, but unfortunately she died. And that experience moved her so much that she felt like, I’m sure there are a lot of people in the world that would like to do things, but sometimes they procrastinate, sometimes they never get to it because of this or that reason. And she made this wall in America and the people at TED Global found it  and they got her to come and they got to speak about why she did it.

"The Questions 100," Kay

The reason she did it was because she wanted the people in her community to share their dreams and aspirations in a public space and she was hoping that because she wrote it in front of everybody, that that would give her the drive to want to do it. And that’s how I found out about it. And I thought it was an amazing idea. And I felt the same way. By the same way I mean, I felt that it was important to encourage our communities and our people to dream and dream big and to go out and chase the dreams and smash them. And so for me, the reason why I did this wall was because I wanted I guess I wanted to create an art project that I would be proud of and also I wanted to create something that would be meaningful. And also I don’t have the skill. I’m not a graffiti artist. I’m not a street artist so this was a lot easier to do because it’s just stencils and blackboard paint and white spray.

"The Questions 100," Kay

This is my one wish for the world and my prayer for the world. I wish that we could love each other a lot more and that we can treat each other better and that we could connect on a deeper level and be like a global family. I wish that one day we could live in the world where there is no poverty or racism or sexism. I wish that one day we could live in a perfect world.”

"The Questions 100," Kay


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