Hope you’re well. I happen to think great ambiance has an effect on our mental health and so I got to talk to the wonderful soul that is Sitawa Wafula on mental health and decor and this is what she had to say.
1. Who is Sitawa Wafula?
Sitawa is a Kenya based mental health activist and feminist using my personal journey as a rape survivor with a dual diagnosis of epilepsy and bipolar to provide people in Africa (and of African descent) with the necessary information and support to not only handle mental health conditions but also deal with everyday life.
I am also very passionate about writing and the arts as avenues of expression and having my voice heard because people who have experiences similar to mine are ‘meant’ to keep quiet given these are labelled as taboo topics.
Last but not least I am a Christian and Vegetarian
2. You have a love for DIY. Tell us about it….
Why I love DIY – they works two ways for me, as mentioned above, they are a form of expression and also as a form of therapy for my bipolar diagnosis…when I am creating, that’s the centre of my world, that’s where my all is.
( Below is a link to the various projects she has done – Bottles, her own patio
3. You have spoken about having a toolbox for mental health. Are your DIY projects part of your toolbox?
The toolbox concept is basically me saying that I am on a journey to recovery and to figuring out life. I have some good days and some bad days and some really ugly days and so I need tools to help me ‘fix’ (note the quotes) what might be broken in the various days and embracing what I can’t fix (acceptance and acknowledgement is also a tool) so I have different tools some of which I have been sharing in my #100DaysofMentalHealth challenge (you can see on my IG and FB – my mind my funk). DIYs are part of the tools I use in my journey.
I have done a Youtube video on the tool box if you want to learn more about it check it out below:
4. What we surround ourselves with on a day to day basis has a psychological impact on our lives. Do you think that ambiance and how we decor our homes/ office space is key in helping anyone with a mental health condition feel better?
It does not just work on people with mental health conditions but for everyone else. Unfortunately we are keen to look at the curative/recovery side and not the preventative too. Each and every one of us needs to be in an environment that is conducive for their mental well being. This might vary depending on a number of things but it is important that we work with what we have to create these spaces for ourselves and that’s where DIYS come in; with little resources (a lot of patience and an open heart – you will have to try and try until you get it or your own version of it) everyone can have a sense of this.
5. Last words of design?
I like getting inspiration from different spaces and a lot of times I see people wanting to create magazine proper images in their personal spaces. I think design should be user friendly in the sense that it should be stuff that is functional to you in some sense. Go with what works for you, what speaks to you as opposed to what would look nice if it was on a magazine cover.Love yourself to the point of making your everyday life the magazine cover and design something what is functional for it.
6. You have fans here ( so some words of wisdom) and shout out for a friend Jimmy M.(big fan of your work)
I am humbled, sending you love and light Jimmy M…
Words of wisdom? Wheeeew ok uuum the beauty of art in whatever form and I have tried different forms; poetry, writing, the DIYS comes out when we are faithful to it. Be faithful to your art, give it your time and attention, invest whatever you can whenever you can, scratch that invest your all in it, all the time and you will be a person living in so much tranquility even in the chaos that comes in creating the art. My poetry began my healing journey, my writing has walked through my recovery and this DIYs have indescribable healing secrets I am still exploring…be faithful to that art.
You can get in touch with Sitawa on:
Love & Light,
Frankie & Bren