I’m an artist and it was the day before Valentines. 

8:15 am. 

Silver Spring, Maryland USA.

I nearly fell out of bed when a lady and two men appeared in my art studio. Fortunately I use a sleeping bag to stay grounded, especially as I expect lightning bolts of inspiration to zap me often.

“Greetings” the lady said. “We are messengers from the court of Mansa Musa, King of ancient Mali. He wishes to commission your service for an upcoming visit by Queen of the Jamaicas.”

I caught myself before the word YES! audibly escaped my thoughts and betrayed my excitement.

Do I shake their hands or give a triple Bro Hug and ask if they were hungry.

Their diplomatic demeanor suggested I keep it formal.

Okay, I didn’t eat anything heavy last night, I wasn’t high and certainly not drunk; so why the imagery bordering on hallucination.

It must be my imagination. 

It is my imagination, I affirmed.

All along the two gentlemen were quiet and attentive to the lady.  Then one spoke up.

“Do not be alarmed at this experience” he said. “We are from a land where time is not as daunting as you think it is. The past, the present and the future can all be blended into harmony.”

“The most important thing is Space. Space = Freedom. Freedom = Opportunity. And Opportunity is Chance to Act creatively. To introduce Ideas, whether old ideas, present ideas or new ideas. You can even introduce ideas you believe no one has ever conceived before.”

He then looked at me intently and said: “……..


This is the story of how I became Sculptor to the Court of Mansa Musa, King of Mali. The man whose wealth could not be described. 

Published by Ken Gwira

Ken Gwira is a self-taught artist living in the USA. Aside from wood sculpture, he uses words and images to help people see life through a different lens [o].

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