All About Philbert

Back in 2021, a Facebook post from my dear friend Geoff Carrier of Revive Sand Filter Aid caught my attention. Geoff shared about his charity's mission to transform dirty river water into clean drinking water, along with an appeal to sponsor a young man in Uganda through art school.


Amidst our business success in 2021, I felt compelled to give back. Introduced to Philbert, a remarkable young man facing unique challenges as a deaf-mute, I found a connection. Philbert's aspiration to attend art college resonated deeply with me. With Geoff's assurance that Philbert's education might include business studies, I eagerly committed to support his journey.

Geoff said after I offered our support “You are amazing Fazane. I am really excited at the thought of his learning from you..."

Yona, Philbert's father, shared his son's post-art school plans with me, highlighting a vision of creating art for churches, repairing computers, designing church plans, and establishing a skills centre for the community. So not only would he be able to spend two wonderful years creating art and refining his skills he would be given the skills to make a difference and support himself on graduation.

Philbert Masareka with some of his wonderful artworks.


Over the next two years, we maintained regular contact with Philbert, receiving updates on his college life and admiring his artwork. In 2023, Geoff's visit to Uganda provided a poignant opportunity to connect via FaceTime. Witnessing Philbert's joy and dedication first hand was profoundly moving.

I admired a painting that Philbert had done so sent him over some additional money and Geoff kindly brought it back for me. It now has pride of place in our office.

During his trip to Uganda and after meeting Philbert, Geoff sent me this wonderful message:

"Dear Fazane, Please forgive me if I witter a little about Philbert. Maybe I am tired, but I am really enamoured of Philbert's lifestyle.

He lives and works in a single simple room, which is filled with his artworks. Profoundly deaf in one of the world’s poorest countries is attempting to make ends meet through the production of art. That has to be one of the most difficult ways to survive.

He sells his fabrics, sculptures and paintings. Without miraculous intervention from on high, his poverty is almost guaranteed. Yet he is not in poverty. He is doing something he loves and doing it well. He has friends and colleagues. He has a purpose to his life. If it is true that “a man’s life, is not made of the things that he owns”, then Philbert's life could be seen as a good life or a life worth living. Yes, he will have constant practical challenges such as finding enough food to keep himself alive, or somehow finding his rent. But the avoidance of such challenges is not life’s main goal, the avoidance of such challenges is not really a measure of the quality of life.

Anyway, Fazane, thanks to your generosity. You have brought into my life, a true artist. I feel in a sense richer for knowing Philbert."

Geoff's touching message about Philbert's resilience and passion illuminated the transformative power of art in the face of adversity for us all.

Geoff in Uganda - Philbert's Painting in Pride of Place - Philbert learning to Sew.


In early 2024, Philbert's graduation brought immense joy to his family and supporters. His father expressed heartfelt gratitude for the support provided, while Geoff emphasized the transformative impact on Philbert's life and artistry.

“Happiness in Entebbe Kisubi, Michelangelo college of creative arts, Philbert Masereka, graduating his first certificate. I thank you so much for the great total care and love you have always done, mobilizing fees, Upkeep and everything to mention a few. You have surely made it to success. May the almighty God bless you and everyone for the prayers tendered to my family . Be blessed now and forever in Jesus name” Philbert’s Father

 “Thankyou so much for the support you gave Philbert over the years. You have done so well. He is not the boy he was when he first started. He has grown into an artist. Together we have done well. A real impact has been made for the goodGeoff Carrier

Whilst our sponsorship journey with Philbert has reached an end, the opportunity to continue supporting him remains. Once our business rebounds, we eagerly anticipate furthering Philbert's artistic pursuits.

In closing, I feel deeply honoured to have played a small role in Philbert's journey and remain hopeful for his future success.

Philbert & his Parents at his Graduation.


Other journal entries

All about our relaunch....
March 4, 2024
In the vibrant world of fashion and entrepreneurship, being recognized as a finalist at the GBEA Awards was a tremendous honour.
January 30, 2024
"I just wanted to say thanks so far to you and your team! You're making this process a really positive one and stress free so far and I'm really grateful for all of your help!"

Shelley / Childrenswear Brand

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