Anselm Sesugh Ngutsav has an academic background in Engineering. He is a photographer, writer and the Creative Director of Purplesilver Community.
He attended University Staff school, Benue State for his Primary Education, then proceeded to Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School, Makurdi and onward to the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi to study Agricultural and Environmental Engineering.
What made you choose your career path?
Passion, I would say and the drive to do something continually exciting.
I spent the most of my growing up trying to figure out what I would do that would be bigger than just money to fund my living or the lifestyle I would want, which is constantly changing.
Sometimes I wanted a quiet life and other times I wanted something different and wouldn’t worry about the next minute’s demand either in time or money..
Above it all, I discovered I wanted something fulfilling. And fulfilment led me to do what I do now, the way I do it.
How do you think the North can move towards sustainable development?
First above every other thing should be education. Both formal and informal.
Education here is above food or health or agriculture or religion. It can bring about the rippling effect into the other areas of life. With the proper education, a man or woman would better know what resources lay in his environment rather than think of the best or healthiest things that should be imported.
Practices in agriculture and thoughts toward progressively impact driven ways can only be achieved from the marriage of formal and informal education.
And with education, a man or woman is well informed on how to go about sourcing information or acquiring it by himself or herself and avoid warped and twisted indoctrination.
There is rather an extreme of negligence on education or its quality to say the least. This makes me wonder what tomorrow would look like.
You see, more than three decades ago, we complained of half baked graduates; those half-baked graduates taught people and those people taught others who are in turn teaching now. Meanwhile, through the chain there has been no improvement in our education, how then do we make progress, when the progress now is fake?
What are your hobbies/ interests?
Outside books, I do quite some movies but time around, art pretty much does it;things like stage performances, drama, talks, discussions around community development, art and photo exhibitions.
To say more on and about my kind of discussions, I would say we have not started talking as a people. Opening up channels to understand better how people think and why they think the way they do.
It is a key way to peace and progress or the unity we seek. We seem to have learned people, yet, there is little understanding of what the next person is saying and why they are saying it. And this further reiterates my earlier postulation on education being the key to all we seek right now. And this education does not have to be far-fetched or simply adopted but derived from our ways and the mission to place us as a people where we want to be tomorrow.
The absence of foresight and direction has left us with each government re-dressing same things over and over so as to our own development. It is a bitter retrogressive way to sail in the waters of time for a people looking toward progress and that is a misfortune.
So staying on course with the question, these discussions won’t and can’t be a one-off thing. It has to be engraved into the culture and way of existence and I love to see this happen and be a part of it, if not steering it.
That is why at Purplesilver community open mic sessions, a literary organization based in Kaduna, we always discuss and interact within a time space. And it does matter what opinions might be different, we get to hear and digest and ask questions to know better so as to understand better. Ultimately, getting there where we will live better. So it’s a continuum and that is a glad tiding I hold dear at heart.
Is Purplesilver a profit based establishment?
No. Purplesilver community is a nonprofit literary organization that runs the Kaduna Book Club, weekly open mic sessions and book chats, as well as book readings.
We basically run activities around literary arts and creativity though we have as major interest areas; the literary arts, education and media.
We are currently running purplesilver Budding Club for secondary school students that meets every first Sunday of the month at our venue CoLab no. 4 Barnawa close opposite Giltoe Aris specialist hospital Barnawa, off Gongola road, Kaduna.
Every first Sunday is dedicated to teenagers or those in secondary schools and below.
We don’t charge for membership or fees for participating in the weekly open mic sessions where creative people get critique on their works and interact freely with no class or difference attached to individuals other than our shared humanity.
The values which guide the most of our endeavors are knowledge, understanding and purpose.
These are the steps guiding the introduction of people into the purplesilver community which has dissolved it’s walls into a family.
We are open to accept sponsorship, grants and donations toward our activities and may apply fees to cover the cost of actually making an event happen because of the slow interest of the corporate and government to actively make efforts to contribute further to these sort of initiative.
Most recently we partnered with Harvard University to hold a Purplesilver-transition literary event that’s was anchored by Richard Ali and had TJ Benson, David Ishaya and Sada Malumfashi.
Are there areas in your state you wish are better?
If I did subscribe to the idea of states and the way they are viewed according to this question, I would have an answer which would pretty much sound like ‘which areas would not be better?’There isn’t very much working outside the salaries of those in political office if you ask me.
What makes you a proud Northerner?
Proud? I don’t think I can say I know that word in that regard.
But Northern Nigeria as a geographic location and socially viable entity inspires me through certain cultural norms that are necessary to my well being.
Pride in the direction of being proud of the North, it’s rather a grey area to me.
I believe in the concept and idea of a global village so my position goes beyond the geopolitical zones of Nigeria and the position of some who think the challenges of this country and her citizens arises from landmass and location and not the lackluster thoughts of a few toward meaning community and society development.
So elements here and there play a vital role.But my advice to Nigerians will be to travel and experience the opposite extreme ends of the geopolitical areas of this country for at least three months before they decide their domicile is the best and their way is ultimate.
What are you doing to change the narrative of the North?
I am not doing anything to change the narrative of the North. It is left for the politicians and those milking the Nigerian cow and the Northern Nigeria cattle to do if they so wish. But the narrative is part of the mammary glands for a simpleton few who would waste no time to exploit it.
I am not one to change the narrative. I believe the onus in this age is invention, I and the community that believe are actually inventing the future. Making the narrative. Offering the voice and being the voice.
That is the role of today’s leaders against tomorrow. I didn’t make whatever narrative exists now, why should I waste my time? Yet I, like many others believe in a better society and greater country and the stories and narrative to be offered extends beyond this time. So those correcting the narrative can go on, the earth revolution is on moving and seeking past narratives to answer or correct looks like a walk to your vomit.
What will be your advice to the country right now?
Educate your citizens, you will spend less and work less, yet end up with more.
What three words best describes you?
Creative, Proactive and one other word with Tiv in it.