Open Source Altruism
The team from Open Source first met Gregory Mchopa in the summer of 2007, when they saw his work. The team visited Tanzania as part of a project trip for Google.org, made with the purpose to meet the local businesses in order to spark the local economic growth.
Open Source talked with local entrepreneurs and businessmen, but they didn’t see the true potential for sparking local enterprise until they met this young talented artist. While he was showing them one of his paintings representing three Maasai women carrying water over their heads to the backdrop of a red sky, he explained them the difficulties he has to face as an artist in Tanzania: a limited market, lack of connectivity and the absence of distribution channels.
The specialists used simple and easy to use Google tools like App Engine, Checkout, Spreadsheets or Gmail to build a website and interface for Gregory. The website is an example for other young artists like Gregory to make their works public.
Gregory’s website was launched in 2009 and since then he managed to sell 47 paintings, keeping all the profit. By mean of his website, Gregory is now connected with gallery collectors and individuals from the United States, Canada or United Kingdom, which are often requesting him custom works for display. And due to his paintings, the Maasai culture is known by people all over the world.
On the same remote alleyway in Dar es Salaam, Gregory continues to fulfill his passion and dreams, making famous the heritage of his country through his beautiful works, which are now taken far beyond that maze of streets from the city of Tanzania, thanks to the power of broadcasting. The Open Source team is hardly waiting for the next Gregory Mchopa.11