Last year I had the opportunity to go to the most beautiful place on earth (well one of them anyway) Taillores, France to take part in a programme run by the Taillores Network called the Youth Economic Particpation Initiative (YEPI), funded by the MasterCard Foundation. This has been a really exciting project to be part of and was a partnership developed between 8 universities around the world who run different entrepreneurial development programmes, contributing significantly to entrepreneurial education and development with young people.
Youth development is a cause close to my heart and I have been instrumental (yes, I have gone from eye rolling at dad jokes to making them) in developing the Graduate Entrepreneur Support Service (GESS) programme, a small business incubator working with young entrepreneurs, that the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development at the UCT Graduate School of Business, Cape Town started in 2013. My role has been on the personal development and transformative entrepreneurship side of the programme. We need to develop the whole person in order for them to be successful entrepreneurs and citizens.
I had the opportunity of presenting a workshop at the Taillores convening on how we can use the arts to teach and develop entrepreneurship. There are so many lovely cross overs in this story as this opportunity to present this workshop at the convening on youth entrepreneurship was the next step in my own entrepreneurial journey. A couple of years ago I left my fulltime job to pursue my dreams of writing music (scariest moment of my life). This led to me releasing my first album in 2016 and the beginning of a move to another dream of mine: composing music for documentaries, film and other creative projects.
Rewind back to Taillores, the most beautiful place on earth and a fabulously fun and quirky film team (from such a great film production company ‘What Took You So Long? Check out their website here, you’ll wonder what took you so long) who had been tracking the various initiatives involved in the YEPI programme and who had also cracked the nod to the most beautiful place on earth to come and document that process. We sat down to a meal one of the evenings (wine and the best cheese of your life…obviously, this was France after all) and got chatting about various things creative. In a moment of courage/stupidity I told this film crew that I would like to write and produce music for documentaries and film. I guess sometimes you just don’t know when these life-defining moments are going to happen. I kind of made it sound that I already did it. Entrepreneurial lesson right there: take risk!
In January these awesome filmmakers got in touch and asked if I could start work on the project. I had already asked Jason to join me on the project if it came through and thus we embarked on The Stellar Effect’s first composition and production project. We worked on 4 different compositions for the documentary, trying to keep a theme thread throughout the work as well as focusing on the story telling element of bringing the story to life through the score. It was such a great learning experience and after a taste of this we couldn’t wait to get more work in!
This documentary premiered at the Taillores Network Leaders Conference in Xalapa Veracuz, Mexico in June this year. This was such a proud moment for us as we saw our logo next to the logos of Mastercard Foundation and the Taillores Network amongst others.
It’s been amazing to see how all the different paths we take in life lead us to amazing moments. Working with young entrepreneurs inspired me to follow my own dreams and this project saw many of our passions as The Stellar Effect duo coming together to create something wonderful. These journeys are marked with ups and downs and certainly aren’t easy, but in my opinion…if you’re not really going to live, what’s the point anyway?
You can watch our first project here.
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