Students can be many things, but those in the creative industries are a different breed altogether. Smart, connected and with quick-as-a-whip wit. This week, we find out how winning the Loeries Creative Future Scholarship has changed life for Anita Dama…
Dama is bubbly, aspirational, and in her second year of studies at the AAA School in Cape Town. That’s largely thanks to the Loeries Creative Future Scholarship she was awarded in 2013. She shares her views on the importance of helping youth with a strong creative passion, especially if their lives are affected by poverty…
How did you hear about the Loeries Creative Future Scholarship Award in the first place?
I had not heard about the scholarship competition until my matric art teacher at Good Hope Seminary High School told me that she had already entered me into it. She did so without even notifying me first as she said she saw what great potential I had and knew that if I won, I would use it wisely. She always said to me: “Stick with me and I’ll make you famous…”, and she did.
How old were you when you realised you wanted to be involved in working in the creative industries?
At the age of 13 I dreamed of furthering my life with art, but I never saw myself working in the design industries at all. Until the day I won this amazing scholarship and saw that graphic design was for me, as it was another way of doing art in a conceptual and creative way, using different forms of media.
How did you react when you found out you had won the scholarship?
It’s like I knew I was going to win all along, everyone around me was more excited than I was. I was actually in shock, with my body so stiff and it made me so quiet, even though I felt amazed and extremely happy. It finally hit me when the new year began. I was so nervous, I didn’t know how to react. I started crying and felt so emotional as I had something so big in my hands that I’d never held before.
How has winning the scholarship changed your life?
All my life, I wanted to help others. Especially those kids who suffer from poverty and hunger and are in need of assistance and love. My passion is the creative world and I needed a way to do what I love and apply what I have to help them. Ever since I won the scholarship, I’ve felt God has gifted me with something really special with which I can help others. By working hard, hand-in-hand with my scholarship and faith, the Loeries scholarship has improved so many things in my life.
For example, I’ve even gained experience with big companies that I’d never heard of and worked with famous art directors and graphic designers. I even got one to kiss me on my cheek! But most of all, I’ve enjoyed myself through the years with the scholarship and I will be make an effort to help others as well soon. I thank the Loeries for that!
How do you plan to help others, as you mentioned in the above answer?
Well I’m still studying my second year at AAA. But I do have a part-time job at the Watershed in the Vamp;A Waterfront, working for a crafty shop called African Image. They basically craft all their items from recyclable goods. I actually get lots of inspiration from them when I have briefs for my studies. So while my plan on helping others isn’t set yet, I help when I can by donating or just giving the things they need in life to help them prosper and become successful, and hopefully live a happy life.