Let’s dial back some years and recall things you enjoyed doing as a child. Perhaps you were a tree climber, a river diver, a bird hunter or a toys maker.
You are probably doing something you enjoy and making money out of it, or your work involves what you do not necessarily love but you need to do to pay your bills. Of course, there is you who is doing something you do not like and do not want to do, but you feel obligated to.
Now, let us dial back a few years (for some many years!) and recall some of the things you enjoyed doing as a child. Perhaps you were the outdoors person, climbing trees, diving in the river, or hunting birds and roasting them over an open fire – the nature explorer; or you were creative with your hands and with a little imagination, you produced homemade footballs (remember the sisal ones), toy cars, and dolls with designer wear to boot. You and your friends seemed to respond, literally, to the “What is in your hand?” question found in the Bible by creating all sorts of stuff to enhance your play. Some children even made electronics like radios just with the locally available materials around them!
Savour the delight of the ‘good old days’, relish its memories, then pause and let’s fast forward to today. You are a parent or an aunt, uncle, or even granny. You look and wonder what children today are up to. They seem to be growing in an entirely different world from what you knew, and their creativity appears hampered to some extent, or so it seems. The childhood landscape has changed!
“As a community, we can share stories of ordinary children making ordinary stuff extraordinary
Research shows that children learn through play and hands-on experiences as they interact with people, the things in their surroundings, and with nature. Play spurs their creativity, often building their problem-solving and life skills. It encourages imagination and out-of-the-box thinking.
In your childhood days, the creative constraints in your environment inspired pretty cool inventions. But the limitations you faced then are not the same today. That does not imply, however, that children are no longer creative. It does require our collective effort to keep the creative impulses pulsating from generation to generation.
To cultivate the child’s natural creativity will require the combined endeavour of the community. Children need to spend more time exploring what their minds can create and that does not include watching television or playing video games all day. To draw out the creative juices, they need adequate time and space to play, explore and discover.
Nature or nurture?
Talent, then, comes to mind when you think about creativity. Rightly so. What then is talent? Are you born with it or is it something anyone can, with practice, acquire?
Is it nature versus nurture, is it both or is it more intricate than that?
We at Fanisi Creations recognise that it takes a community to raise a child. As part of our collective effort to spur creativity in children, we have set up this website as a platform where, as a community, we can share stories of ordinary children making ordinary stuff extraordinary.
In the Young Creatives page, we will be talking to children and their parents as we delve deep into how they explore and exploit their talents. We will join them in the journey of discovery and in so doing, find inspiration to undertake our own exploration as well.
If you would like to share your story with us or point us to someone we could feature, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us in shaping and framing our world through the delightful stories and let us explore all the gems out there!