posted in: faces.

“My name is Oliver Sanders… but I prefer to be called Ollie. I’m 24 years old. I’m from the UK but I grew up in Lamu. [It’s a long story, but in short, after a safari we had a couple of days; we were recommended to go to the island, as soon we got off the plane, my mum fell in love with the place, and unfortunately when she says something we don’t get to dispute]

My biggest challenge right now, actually has to do with my work. I’m a visual effects artist… I feel like all artists feel this at some point; I just feel like I’m not creative enough or not able to express my ideas the way I want, and that’s probably the biggest challenge, trying to make what’s going on in my head and my heart match what I put out. I’m getting there… Depending on my mood, but that’s probably my biggest struggle at the moment.

What scares me, needles. Injections. When I was younger I had a blood infection and I almost died. I had an IV drip in my arm and I was fading away, and kept convulsing… and I remember very vividly just how weak I was and trying to fight to do anything to keep myself awake. One of the times, my wrist bent inwards, and although IV drips are supposed to bend with you, mine didn’t… And caused a 2 inch tear down my wrist. And since then, being in the same room as one makes me very anxious. The last time I had a blood test they had to knock me out for that one.

What I like about myself, I have a perfect nose. And I love it. My dad has a friend who’s a plastic surgeon… and he spent half an hour trying to convince me to pay me to get a sculpture of my nose so he could show it to clients to see if they wanted it.

What brings me to the Alchemist, I have to say, habit. I used to work at the bus when it was still here with Vincenzo, and it became comfortable here… it’s a nice space, place with good music, good vibe, good food, and a dog that wanders here every now and again!

My first time at the Alchemist would’ve been… about almost a year ago! I used to be flatmates with Nishad, he was very welcoming and a really nice guy, and I was between jobs… and he told there was a guy at the Alchemist who’s got his own production house there… he got me a meeting and got me my first work in Kenya… so that was the first time, and I pretty much didn’t leave for like two days.”