Pablo Picasso once said that Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. When I first saw Adrien Folly Nostron A.K.A, KanAd’s work, I was deeply mesmerized and thoroughly impressed so much so that my eyes almost gorged out. True story.
He reminds me of great black prominent artists across Africa before the 1900s. Some of whose works are still kept in museums across Europe and North America.
I spent some time with Adrien recently at the Mandela Washington Fellowship in the US and I must confess he is appropriate and respectful company. I learned quite a lot from him. KanAd is the co-founder of AGO Media, a comic book publishing house in Togo.
I was born and bred in Lomé, Togo. I must point out that patriotism is my second name. I love my country and the African continent. I started drawing as early as three years old.
I got a mentor at 18 who helped direct me in finding my own voice. Through the mentorship process, I discovered and developed my own style.
My partner and I started our organization 10 years ago. We have reached thousands of children and other audiences through general educative comic books, communication and awareness comic books, animations and events.
Working with NGOs that directly work with children has been a huge booster for our social enterprise.
With children in mind, Adrien and his partner have also organized a comic book festival which attracts works from various regions. The children in Togo have directly benefited from this venture.
Adrien also uses his work to reach the youth through social media. His vision is to create a sustainable model that other creatives can learn from. They are currently working on an advocacy program meant to empower children.
I must say I have had the time of my life through the MWF experience. I have met intrepid young African leaders who are passionately and immensely transforming their communities. The passion is real. The hunger in them is satiating.
I always tell the youth to fight for their countries, for the African continent. Go to school and get educated.
It is also important to be the hardest working in the room but this includes having some street smart as well. But above all to be humble because no one ever changed lives through unwarranted pride.
One thing I found really admirable in Adrien is his humility and kind words for others. He always spoke only good things about others.
Reminds me of that quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Clearly Eleanor deserves some good nyama choma on all of us but I digress.
When KanAd is not pouring wisdom and gold from his talented hands, he enjoys eating pork anything. As a steak girl, I would say to each his own as long as we’re all happy.
Keep at it KanAd. May God bless you to impact hard with your golden hands and have your name written with the greats.