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legacy fest

On the eve of January 31st, I came across an event on Facebook tagged: The Legacy Festival: Black History Month 2009. I read through the description of the event and I was intrigued by the depth of thought that seemed had been invested into the Festival’s preparation. It was all organized by a Gentleman named Robert Small. I presumed he was an Artist because I saw artwork in some photos publicizing the event. I also visited his website to see more and I realized his organization was a big deal.

Remembering my FIFA 2010 experience with the Licensing Company, I was skeptical about approaching him, but I went ahead with it. I planned to suggest National Buttons, but while there on the website, I noticed a beautiful design. It was maple leaf with the 3 colors (which stood for each of the TLF weeks); and then it hit me- this would make for really cool memorabilia for this event!

After I found an email address, I sent an email pitching my idea. God willing, he liked it and replied. He said his wife has even told him to do buttons ages ago, but he never got around to it. So we talked and discussed over the next couple of days over the design, quotes and discounts. I emailed him the design and he approved! I also emailed him the picture of a sample:

Finally, we agreed I would come on the night of the final event (Saturday, February 28th) with 30 buttons and he’d pay for those. If after giving them out, people liked them, then next year, he’ll do about a 1000 Buttons! Unfortunately, I forgot that there was also a Black History Event organized by the McMaster African Students’ Association (MASA) for that day. I couldn’t miss it because I was scheduled to sell buttons at the event, as the Secretary of the Club, I had to be present; and the event it was my suggestion. Until then, MASA had never held a Black History Month Event ever.

The day came, I made plans to stay till the end of the MASA event and then leave for the Toronto as soon as it was over; and I did just that.

I actually learnt a lot from our event; especially from the movie we watched: 500 Years Later. It was educational and very insightful. I met some notable interesting people too:
– Grant DaCosta, a Sudanese drummer and musical instructor. He bought a Sudan national buttons and took my card; and then also got a contract from him…I spill more on that if it does happen.
– Klyde Broox, an entertaining and brilliant Jamaican dub poet. I look out for his book: “My best Friend is White”.
– Kaesan, a young and talented Ghanaian Guitarist.
– And a host of other people from SISO Hamilton and other McMaster University Groups.

It end at 9:00pm so I caught the 10:00pm GO-Bus to Toronto. I got to Union Station at about 10:45pm and took the subway to Cumberland. After getting unto the street, I went in the opposite direction for about 20 minutes; and then had to go all the way back. Eventually, I got to the venue at about 12:30am! After relaxing, I had a couple of drinks and waited for Robert to arrive.

When we finally met at about 2:00am! I was so happy when we did because I had almost decided to leave. After meeting him, we talked some more business, he told about some of his early entrepreneurship activities, he paid for the buttons and introduced me to his lovely wife.

All in all, it was pretty good first black history month for Pearl Creations and I!
If there’s anything I learnt, it’s to be bold and not afraid to put oneself out there!

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