Five @ Five: with Dillion S Phiri.

The Zimbabwean born, Dillion S Phiri is a lot of things, an entrepreneur, a social sculptor, founder of Creative Nestlings, curator of Fak’ugesi Festival but most importantly he is a father and a husband. Dillion connects creatives and entrepreneurs that lie in different regions of the continent through Creative Nestlings which is a platform, “creating a network of creatives, supporting them, connecting them to each other firstly and then to brands, governments, cultural and educational institutions.” We had the honor of having Dillion as our guest and this is the dialogue we had.

1. People know you as a lot of things, but how do you often describe yourself?

Always Wandi & Niki’s dad, a creative entrepreneur who drinks a lot of coffee, makes what needs to be made and likes to help others make their ideas happen, sometimes makes films, sometimes a documentary photographer.

2. You are the ‘social sculptor’ of the African creative industry, how did that journey start and how would you say it’s going?

It started when I was born I guess, I like to create different types of spaces for people to create in. Empty canvases basically, these can be anything from 3 story buildings in Cape Town, online platforms, business models, books e. That’s my form of creative expression.

3. When we talk about ‘multifaceted creatives’ in our country your name definitely pops up, how do you do it all?

I don’t do it all lol, I wish I could do it all, I fail at a lot in the process and what you see are the few successes or public failures. But now I am slowing down my multi project approach to focus on the key big projects. I now know what I can do and what I need to outsource. I am concentrating on the Fak’ugesi Festival as that’s a new adventure for me and I really want to make it an experience to remember.

4. Let’s talk about Creative Nestlings, why was it important to you to start a creative network that would be used to connect, learn, grow and nurture young African creatives?

It just happened, it was a solution for a challenge we saw in our peers and personal creative journeys, we set out to create a supportive environment for creators across the continent. I have been part of many global networks and realise that your network is truly your net-worth. It’s been a journey riddled with challenges but the wins have made it all worthwhile. The last 10 years have been a gamble to see how far we can go and also what are the real challenges we face as African creatives. We now see what’s needed and have seen how community, creativity and technology are a great catalytic tools for a successful creative community and economy. This year we are on a break to rebuild our individual selves and also rebuild the internal systems of the network but we will be back to full functionality in the coming months with a new team and much needed energy.

5. You’ve just recently became the curator of the Fak’ugesi Festival, what can we expect from the African Innovative festival starting on the 14th and commencing on 24th of October?

Expect nothing lol, just kidding this role has changed my life literally, it’s a much needed adventure as a nerd myself and creative. I get to zone in on some exciting creative disciplines from gaming, animation, digital music, digital art to maker culture and immersive media and present some of the best Africa has to offer. We really want to create an amazing immersive experience for everyone and celebrate the importance and role African creativity has in our society hence the #BuildCozYouHaveTo theme. Right now we have a call for Digital artists on our website for the annual poster competition and we will be soon introducing our CREATIVE AWARDS through a call for nomination.

Follow our website for more information #BuildCozYouHaveTo.

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