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Mustapha Cyrus: Writer & Model.
What is the Purpose of art, according to you?
Art is that which is created by an artist to be offered as a gift to the world in order to destroy the slothful routine of their lives. An artist is a man or a woman who takes the first step into that which is dangerous and unknown, armed with nothing but a vision. Art is about taking the first steps and creating a new road with the hopes that his or her creation will manifest into the daily lives of society not only through their actions but also through their minds.
What makes the work you do necessary? How does it inform/change normative behaviour, society, ideas, beliefs, etc.?
I don’t want it to be better for men to be few and live far apart where none could infect another. I want men to realise that they can live together and still resonate with individuality and allow sanity of field and mountain and the cold ocean and glittering stars to enter their minds. Through my writing and fashion I want people to realise that they can stand against the entire world and its beliefs, armed with only their vision and art and still be capable of changing the world. However any human who cares to call themselves an artist has to realise that art is something that has to be created. No artist can follow in the path of another. They also have to know that anything they create to change the world requires changing the comfortable routine of society.
In my poetry I write about the community man who beats his wife and the drug addict who sells her children. I write about what I want, I write about change. I write about the things society would rather hide behind their beliefs, their religions and their cultures.
Through my writing I create my style; I dress in a way that would make society upset and feel uncomfortable and uneasy. This always gets their attention, I then erase all the boundaries and show them that I am an artist that resonates with individuality.
I am my own person and I belong entirely to myself. Through my creations I change the ugly routines and norms of society and I will change ideas and alter beliefs.
What are the highlights of your career?
Every now and then I would come across people who have all the potential in the world but are too afraid to let it out or show their aspirations to the universe.
As a High school student, in a very well know boys school, I was often picked on or beaten around for not being like everyone else in the school. Even though I attended school every day with a piercing fear, I firmly believed and still do believe that I was put on this earth to serve a purpose and through this I channelled my fear and occasional beatings into my work.
I spoke very openly about feminism, homosexuality, abuse, poetry, fashion and individuality. I told stories of struggle, adversity and death. This scared some people because they weren’t used to seeing a young boy at an all-boys school fight so hard for things such as homosexuality which is widely seen as unnatural. But I was convinced that if I smothered them with it they would get use to the fact that we live in a free and open society – this inspired others. This is the highlight of my career, inspiring individuals to go against routine and create their own paths of greatness.
Can you share with the Inspired4Writers readers on the challenges and fears you encountered with regards to conveying your work? Any advice for those aspiring to follow in your trail?
There are so many challenges in life. The great rule according to the great writer Paulo Coelho is to fall seven times and get up eight. Understand that when you decide to become an artist, people will without a doubt attack you for what you portray through your creations because they’re scared that you will change their comfortable routine of life. Remember that not everyone will accept your work but you as an artist have to ensure they tolerate it and also ensure you never stop trying to convince them.
My greatest fear is that I will die knowing that there are still people I’ve promised to help through my work.
The best advice I can give those aspiring in my trail? Don’t! We have all been put on earth to serve a different purpose, as an artist you can never aspire in the trail of someone else. Find your purpose, create your own trail and change lives. When you do this you will look to the horizons and see that all our paths connect at the path of greatness because we had the courage to live our lives according to our purpose.
How do you keep yourself informed/inspired?
I keep myself informed in various ways. From my personal experiences, the best ways to stay informed are the following:
- Read books, read everything from fiction to nonfiction. Read about crimes, read about love, read about life. Read Everything!
- Listen to people. When you pay attention to people when they talk, you will realise that people often let out more than they should. Ensure you create an emotional connection with everyone and ensure people trust you. When you are trusted, the world reveals all its truths to you.
- Travel, never stop travelling. Visit India for knowledge, visit Alaska for beauty and Visit Italy to learn of love. Then visit the rest of the world for spiritual enrichment and teach of knowledge, beauty and love.
Are there people whom you admire in your line of work? Do you have a mentor?
There are a few people whom I admire and look up to. These are people who resonate with knowledge, beauty and life. Some are still with us and some aren’t.
a) Virginia Woolf – Great female writer.
b) Rumi – Great poet, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystic.
c) Jasmine Mans – Modern 21st century poet.
d) Iyanla Vanzant – Spiritual and holy practitioner and writer.
e) Tzvi Karp – Fashion father of design, creator, innovator, fire and life.
The world and its people are my mentors.
What dreams do you have for yourself?
I dream of saving the souls of the beaten women, I dream of fighting for the molested children, I dream of teaching poetry to the living spirits of the world, I dream, I dream and every day I continue to dream.
What is the one Truth that you hold onto?
Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding – Ghandi.