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A book about consumption. By Wilson Oryema

issue five : a feast for gluttony

I spent hours and years searching for it, and when I had an ounce of it my hand, I tossed it aside and kept running forward in the the hopes of more.

Wilson Oryema, Wait.

I met Wilson a number of years ago on a shoot. He was tall, polite, well-spoken and quietly intelligent. That very encounter has stuck with me all those years. Perhaps because in meeting Wilson, and having to apply makeup to his dark-black skin, I was at a momentary loss. Certainly not because I was incapable of working on different skin tones, but rather because my ‘tools’ did not cater to his beautiful colour. However, an artist does not blame her tools. So I approached it differently and didn’t use conventional foundation. I had to think outside the box that day, and I became a better artist in doing so.

This is not, in fact, a piece about beauty, well not makeup anyway. This is a piece about an extraordinary human named Wilson Oryema, with a beautiful mind, who wrote a book.

Oryema is a multidisciplinary artist (perhaps I feel akin to him, as I use the same title to describe myself and live by the same moral code?) who specialises in image, text and film. He lends his face to people from time to time too.

WAIT. is Wilson’s first book. It is an extraordinary collection of prose, alliterations and observations about consumption in the modern world.

All too fitting with this issues theme; A Feast for Gluttony. We have all become addicted to consumption. There is no getting away from that fact. Our society is built on a capitalist business model. My own survival depends on the sale of ‘stuff.’ I struggle with this concept, daily.

WAIT. reminds us why we might need to stop and consider our incessant need to buy.more.stuff. Yet, it does so in a way that makes us question the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’ being shoved down our throats.

As I read through the pages of this book, I imagined Oryema sitting on a bus, staring out the window, just observing the world – in a way most people don’t. I imagine him with a little note book, scribbling down observations and thoughts as reminders for the words he is yet to write. Sometimes just sticking to the words he wrote down. Of course, I have no idea how he gathered his thoughts, but I love the fact that in reading this book, I was allowed a space to imagine the character and learn from his experiences.

 Image courtesy of Wilson Oryema
Image courtesy of Wilson Oryema

Spend your money wisely

Spend your money on experiences. Spend it on things that save you time so you can enjoy this life – now. So that when you look back one day, you realise you hadn’t wasted it on stuff. Stuff that could be the ‘mountains’ that surround our cities.

Spend your money on things that truly enrich your life. Things that your children and your children’s children will cherish. Spend your money on lessons and plants.

Spend your money on education. Spend your money on this book. (Available in paperback or kindle version). It’s enlightening  – and while it may not change the world, it might very well change the way you see the world.

We need more people who see the world the way Wilson sees it. Thank you for your youthful wisdom Wilson. Thank you.

CLICK HERE to discover more of Wilson’s work.

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not contaminated, polluted, or tainted: the paper was untainted by age.

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