COLA DEEJAY STIBO
Cola Deejay Stibo is a Zimbabwean-born chef, DJ and all round entrepreneur. This mover and a shaker of note is the mind behind multi-pronged creative company, African Inspired Dreams, which has hosted events such as Twenty First Century Creatives, and is poised to launch Rainbow Friendly, its first queer party in Cape Town, hosted by none other than international YouTube stars Ambers Closet and Ava Pearl:
Events and Creative Entrepreneurship
SOURCE(S) OF INSPIRATION:
I am inspired by everything around me, good or bad. I have learnt to find the silver lining in everything because of the twists and turns life has given me. On a daily basis I find my inspiration by feeding my mind with positive thoughts. I do this by listening to a lot of motivational speakers like Les Brown and religious leaders such as T D Jakes. I go on YouTube and spend at least an hour a day inspiring myself. This is something that I need to constantly feed my mind.
TURN AROUND TIME BETWEEN INSPIRATION, EXECUTION AND SHARING:
If I have an idea, I act on it immediately. I do not wait until the time is right – the time will never be right. I am lucky to be surrounded by a team that helps make all our creative projects from African Inspired Dreams come to life. We do not rush things. We plan and plan, re-plan, then act. For example: In October we’re hosting our first queer event Rainbow Friendly. It took us about 8 months to all be on the same page with the event and then the execution took another 6 months. We’re on the sharing stage now until the event. So there are different stages to our turn around time depending on the project.
The best way I flex my creative muscle is through our social media platforms such as African Inspired Dreams on Instagram. I had to learn social media habits and skills, which I am still developing, to expand the brand. These skills have allowed us to produce and realise better content. I’ve made researching how to better my brand a habit. The Internet has so much knowledge – it’s overwhelming but exciting.
HARDEST PART OF DOING WHAT YOU DO:
I always get scared and freak out when it comes to new projects, because I constantly put pressure on myself to produce the best results. I always want to be the best and constantly look up to people reaching levels I want to reach.
My negative inner voice is there, but I try to kill it by constantly feeding my mind with positive thoughts and surrounding myself with positive people.
Money holds everyone back, but doesn’t stop me from dreaming. The best way I handle it is by working with people who know better then me. I know my strongest skill set is not managing money so I work with people who know what do with it. If we have events there is some one who plans what and how we use our profits etc.
When it comes to creativity, I wrestle with making sure that the content I produce is original and needed by our target market.
HOW MUCH EMPHASIS DO YOU PLACE ON MAINTAINING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE?:
As an individual, if I didn’t have to post, I honestly wouldn’t. But because my brand is literally being built via social media, yes, I make a point to maintain a social media presence. I curate 6 social media brands so I constantly have to source content for them. Emphasis levels on 100.
DO YOU HAVE A DAY JOB OR HAVE YOU MADE YOUR CREATIVE PASSION PAY?:
Yes and no. I work for myself. I am a private vegan chef and I am currently in the process of setting up a vegan retail restaurant store in Zimbabwe. I have been based in Zimbabwe for the past year and a half setting that up. As of 2018, I will be moving between Zimbabwe and Cape Town. Being a private chef pays my bills because of the niche market I have tapped into in Zimbabwe.
YOUR MOUNT EVEREST:
My mount everest is to be on the cover of GQ magazine as a creative and owner of Africa’s first African inspired androgynous clothing label…