Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sseggujja Michael. But I try as much as possible to use my African name to differentiate myself from the rest. I am a digital artist born and raised in Masaka, Uganda, now living in Kampala. I am a freelance motion designer and 3D artist with a degree in industrial art and design from The Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and Fine arts. I am also a screen and theatre actor, and a barista with an immense passion for coffee (titter).
When and how did you find out about NFTs?
I found out about NFTs in the wake of the Corona Virus in April 2020, when they imposed a total lockdown in Kampala. I spent so much time online that the internet became a close companion and my curiosity for cryptocurrencies and NFTs was piqued.
So what tipped it for you?
What tipped it over for me, was the sale of Beeple’s (Mike Winkelman) Everydays. I was in shock. I was already following Beeple for some time on Instagram, and seeing him make and celebrate that sale was a wake-up call because I thought this was just the beginning. I was hooked. If Beeple managed to do it, I could too. I didn’t know people paid attention to what digital artists were doing, until that day. I had been making digital art on my laptop and posting them on my social media as a way of advertising my work, but seeing Beeple’s life change in a matter of hours changed my perspective.
The internet is split into several different groups right now, there are the crypto heads that believe that web3 and blockchain technology is the future of the internet, and then there's a different group that believes that this is just another "marketing buzzword" and the tech developed in the space is designed to make money for a chosen few - as an African artist that's interacted with the space what are your feelings towards this and what's been your experience so far?
I am a strong believer in technology. We’ve seen how some African countries were and are still skeptical about the internet up to this day. They don’t believe that we are already living in the future. When I learned about what the blockchain is and how it's shaping business, I was blown away because I never thought that the internet would go beyond just sending emails, social media, and YouTube. I am proud to call myself a crypto head because I don’t believe this is going to end. Some of my friends are still not sure, citing that this is just a scheme to make the rich even richer, or it's just meant for a selected few. The beauty about the internet is that there are no boundaries it’s like one giant digital village. That’s what I believe. I never knew that all the hours I spent on my computer making art, and acquiring skills over the years could count for something and have value. It really is amazing.
Tell us a bit about your drop (the inspiration behind it) and what it represents - and why did you choose to go with DoinGud
The theme of my drop is Water and Abundance. Water is the most precious thing we have on this planet besides the air we breathe and it’s easy to take this for granted. With all the lakes and rivers around Uganda and the rest of East Africa, water scarcity is an issue with a majority of people not having basic access to clean water. It’s also puzzling that in Kampala, there are areas that go weeks without clean water, and the encroachment on wetlands and poor sewage management means less clean water. We used to have wells dug and managed by the community, but that’s no more and the purpose of this drop is to bring more awareness to this, and with platforms like DoinGud, we as creators can make contributions to our communities not only just by highlighting some of the issues that we face, but coming together and creating solutions to some of these problems.
Are there any interesting creators/creations that you have seen in the region that have piqued your interest that you think should be highlighted?
Elupe House of Comics and Animation is doing interesting things here in Kampala. Fanuel Leul from Ethopia, Kwizera and Jjombwe from Kampala.What do you think are some of the ways that can be implemented in the continent to drive mass adoption of blockchain
Education is the most important thing. Educating oneself and being up to date with current technologies. For Africa, I think since the flow of information is still generally slow compared to other continents because of poor internet infrastructure there’s a need for programs by either government or private companies to teach and sensitize. Also, the complexity of some of these concepts needs vibrant and exploratory minds, I think that’s why it’s mostly young people who are into this. And it’s for us as young people to keep pushing these ideas out.
We've seen African digital artists like Osinachi do collaborations with galleries like Christie's Europe to auction pieces that have generated thousands of dollars and even creating his own crypto coin, how important do you think these collaborations are for an artist, and what role do you think communities play in the space
Osinachi is the first, I think we are going to see more artists coming up and shaking things up. That’s the beauty of web3, it doesn’t discriminate. And collaborations mean international recognition and also independence for an artist. Being in touch with collectors with no middlemen or galleries is huge. We are going to start seeing big brands like Nike collaborating with African artists, and so much more. I think the art space has changed for the better. The less broke the artist is, the more creative he/she is and the more time and freedom they have to explore and grow. Artists are the new rock stars!
Sseggujja currently has one piece published on the platform that you can find here. He is preparing for his “Water and Abundance ” drop.
DoinGud is an NFT ecosystem focused on inspiring creativity and positive social impact. We pride ourselves on accessibility and sustainability, providing next-gen Web3 tools to empower our community to create, curate, collaborate, and connect with one another in the digital space.
Thank you for being part of this amazing journey with us.