I recently wrote a post about my dear friend, Aurora Lopez after the intense moment she spent in Malawi. Here is a Short Interview:
Q: What brought you to do the charity with Madonna?
A: Madonna has been a collector of my work for years. As I learned about Madonna’s “Raising Malawi” foundation, it was in the early stages of development. The more I learned about the incredible work that was being done in Malawi, I became very inspired and wanted to help. This is when Madonna and I decided to collaborate and create a piece that would signify the spirit of Malawi and at the same time, raise money for the cause. I have always wanted to design a piece that would carry a significant message and be of great help to a country in need.
Q: What was it like to be in Malawi?
A: It was my first trip to Africa. I was extremely touched by the unwavering spirit possessed especially by the women and children of Malawi. This took me by surprise as I did not know what to expect and was secretly hoping that I could emotionally handle the poverty that I was about to encounter. This great spirit gave me a big dose of perspective. I witnessed women and children that had barely the essentials to survive and yet they exuded in happiness and smiles. This really warmed my heart and solidified my devotion to continue to be creative and help them in any way that I can.
Q: What does “Mtima” mean and how did you think of it?
A: The meaning of “Mtima” is “heart” in Malawi’s native Chichewa language. In developing the design, I asked Madonna which word would best describe the people of Malawi and your effort to help. Her reply was pretty immediate with the word “Mtima.” They say that Malawi is the heart of Africa. I witnessed this first hand during my visit.