We recently caught up with Sikhumbuzo (MrGravetown) Mokwena, of Gravestown Arts Foundation to find out what drives this intelligent, positive go-getter looking to breakdown the obstacles of social ills
So this is how that session took place
Tell us who you are, in 5 words?
I only need 3
You express your crafts through your foundations and companies, what inspired their creation?
My Arts Foundation was inspired by the urge to change my community for the better by using arts and crafts as a means to inspire the youth to better themselves through their talents and keep them away from criminal activities and drugs.
You do motivational talks and edutainment programs around schools, what do you hope to give back through these?
I hope to change lives with my outreach programs, I have noticed that talking to the kids on a level they understand helps a lot because they can relate to what I say to them simply because I have been through the same challenges they encounter due to my struggle with crime and drugs.
What inspires you to still do what you do and give back after all these years in the industry?
The fact that I see guys I went to school with helping people to catch taxis simply to get their next fix of Nyaope by collecting R1 coins from the taxi drivers, it hurts me and I want to make sure I help a lot of children avoid falling victim of the same chemical cycle which will end up in making our future leaders outcasts in the society due to being drug users and addicts
You have encountered crime, drugs, education and financial challenges in several ways, how have these experiences influenced your drive and passion fight back against it?
These experiences influenced me in a major way to try change and help other change because I think I’m very intelligent and if I had not wasted my time in prison, doing drugs and committing crime I would have been very far in life, so my worst fear is seeing the kids in my surrounding fall into the trap I fell into.
What is your view on how decisions made today affect your tomorrow/future?
My view is that it’s very true because I have experienced it first hand, if I had focused on my education and not drugs and crime I would be a varsity graduate by now but the decisions I made back then still affect me even now.
How would you advise people on how to discover their talents/ potential and what they want from Life, through your own experience?
I would advise them to just do what they love and what they never get bored of doing because that is usually where the talent lies, growing up I used to always write poetry and rhymes, this came with ease and I would never get bored of doing that had I focused on that from back then I would be much further than I am with my musical career.
Can you share an example in your life of how a decision you made played out, over week/months/years, to create the consequences you wanted?
When I finally decided to quit drugs and crime and focused on my talents a lot of positive things started to happen in my life its only last year where I ended up winning the SABC1 battle rap show called One Mic simply because I decided to focus on more positive activities.