Kouassi Atta, the founder of Focus Organization, runs an incredible series of African music events in London that promote talented African and Caribbean artists.We interviewed him about his journey and what keeps him motivated.
"I was born and raised in Ivory coast. I have always been an entrepreneur. However, business wasn’t always my main passion.
I always had the passion to communicate with the world. The power of language allows us to do this. The power of philosophy allows us to understand the world that little bit more. So, when I was living in Ivory coast I decided to study literature, philosophy and foreign languages.
When I finished my studies, I set sails to Italy. It was in Italy I truly started to realise the lack of resources in the African community. The African and Caribbean voice was not express or heard. I became more and more interested in organising events within the African community.
I don't desire money. I desired social change.
I always wanted to live in London. After 15 years in Italy I decided to move to South – East London. I believe London allows true self expression. In Italy African and Caribbean community is so small compare to London.
After years of promoting events that created great wealth but little social change within my community,I decided to start a new company in 2010. I named this company Focus Organisation.
I realised that we as a community can capture social change.
We can do this by valuing what our community creates.
We can own our own music and support our creations.
We can empower our community and build something from nothing.
In the early stages of my company many people did not see the worth of my work.
But I did.
People would ask “what good can come out of Africa?” At the time I was not sure how to answer that question.
All I knew is that I have a desire to promote what haven't been promoted for such a long time. My focus is to create events to showcase African and Caribbean artists.
So, there I was, I had the passion, I had the vision and the experience but no funds. So I handed my passion, my vision and my trust back to my community. I set up a crowd funding page and the community supported my mission. I raised over £6000 to create events that allows true and uncommercialized expression."
Now when people ask me the question "What good can come out of Africa?" The answer is always the same;“Good vibes, Good music, a power community and even more powerful entrepreneur"
Focus Africa Music Festival – 2nd June 2017
35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.
Doors open at 7pm.
Doors open at 7pm.