On the 1st of September I went against the grain, bunked law school, hopped on the Gautrain and began my Hello Ambassador 2016 journey. The creative festival took place at Sci-bono in Newtown, Johannesburg from 1 – 3 September. This was the second time I was attending this annual festival and I had no idea what to expect this time around. What I was immediately impressed by was the quality of the 12 speakers on the line up including; Maps Maponyane, Trevor Stuurman, Thabang Moleya, and Liezl Zwarts just to name a few.The theme of the conference was ‘Root’, going back to where it all began. The speakers each unpacked their personal, creative and professional journey’s and the lessons that they’ve learnt. The aim seemed to be to inspire the audience by sharing the importance of discovering the ‘why’ of what you do. The golden thread that ran through each talk and workshop was the need to remain authentic, resilient and brave within ones professional field. This was definitely necessary for the aspiring creatives in the crowd to hear and internalise.
In terms of the overall experience, there was a great market space for various traders to display their products and a few workshops to engage in. Also, the food was delicious and in abundance but most importantly we were given sufficient coffee to keep us buzzed and attentive! Tying the bow on the experience were the helpful and friendly volunteers who worked hard to keep things running.The third day of the festival ended with an intimate masterclass with Black Coffee who, like the other speakers inspired and motivated the audience by by being vulnerable about his creative and personal journey. Because of the artistic genius that he is, this was definitely my highlight. Unfortunately, I left before the street festival and after party which was hosted by the Red Bull Academy at 1Fox Street. The one aspect that was lacking was the imparting of practical guidance and skill training in order to thrive in the various industries. I hope to see more of this at the next Hello Ambassador.All in all, Hello Ambassador is an incredible platform which provides a great networking and learning experience. I would recommend it to anyone operating in a creative space. It has grown and improved over the years and I’m excited to see where it goes.