Emoji drums in fun colours hope to beautify town, change attitude

Members of the MAM painting a drum.

WHAT caught our eyes were pictures of emojis.
Not just emoji though, there’s a twist.
The emojis were actually emoji drums in fun colours.
We decided to say hi to the team behind an awesome collection of drums-garbage drums to be exact.
We spoke to Howard Bagiro, a team member who was more than happy to tell us about the Emoji Drum Project.
The team calls themselves Madang Art Maniacs or MAM for short. They’re a group of men who went to art school together back in the day.
“We are old boys from the art school at the University of Papua New Guinea. Our bond is pretty strong,” Howard said.
“MAM is a five member group.”
So how the team did came to work together on this project? Well, Howard was kind enough to inform us about their other art projects around Madang which drew the group of fine art artists together.
“We did a spray paint mural at the Laiwaden Oval. It was for the Maborasa Show. We called ourselves MAM,” Howard told us.
But that doesn’t explain how they came to make emoji drums.
We had more questions to ask.
Have you ever wondered where garbage drums came from? We have.
MAM couldn’t have just went around happening on drums or vice versa.
There has to be another player. This player is Pamela Euginio.
“Pamela is a prominent young woman who does community support work around town,” Howard said of Pamela.
We might just think of writing about her soon.
But no, wait, she has to have a say in the Emoji Drum story.
Euginio is a 33-year-old Madang local. She put the drums up on her group’s Facebook page The Madang Neighborhood Watch.
So how did she get her hands on the drums? Euginio sheds some light on how.
“We were organising a clean-a-thon a while ago. We asked business houses to donate gloves, bags and drums for the event. Three companies, BAT, PNG Biodiesel Ltd and RD Foundation donated 32 drums in total towards the event,” Euginio said.

The painted drum emojis. – Pictures courtesy of HAZEL KUTKUE

Pamela tells us about her other community activities.
“I do work for the Madang Makers Market, which is a campaign towards promoting local products and produce and providing an avenue for local micro SMEs to do business.
“I do pretty much everything and help out anywhere I can help.”
Euginio works full time at Sigma Construction Ltd as a supervisor and does the community work in her free time.
So how does Euginio picture a model community?
Well, her answer is what we also had in mind.
“Safe, secure, clean.
“Safe enough that my kids could play outside and I wouldn’t have to worry.
“I’d like my children to experience the Madang I grew up in,” Euginio said.
So what does Euginio aim to get out of the work that she’s putting in?
Her response is inspiring – she’s doing it for the future.
We like how she thinks.
“As a mother, everything you do is for your children.
“I’m doing this for my province and town for my children and for their children.”
As for MAM, team leader, Robert Banasi happened to come across the drums.
Long story short, MAM was involved, and ready to get their hands dirty, or paint stained, we should say. “Robert came up with the idea of painting emojis on the drums.
“It was a sort of contribution as artists back to our town,” Howard says.
So why emojis?
We’ve seen garbage cans with pretty mundane pictures of paintings on them, for lack of a better descriptive term.
We’ve never seen an emoji garbage can before.
Have you?
Well, Howard has an answer for us.
“Emojis on the drums is fun.
“It attracts people.
“People can then maybe take better care of the drums and put rubbish where they belong,” Howard says.
Well, we cannot agree more.
We can see ourselves going to the drum to dump trash and then taking a selfie with it.
Who can say no to emojis?
So the paint – who provides it?
We were surprised that the paints are also sort of donations.
“The paints are provided by Robert and myself as well as Sigma Construction Company,” Howard said.
Now, if you think that their art ideas and skill wasn’t enough giving back, they are supplying the paint as well.
We hope that more Papua New Guineans are as awesome as the members of the MAM team.
We’ve always known that Papua New Guineans like getting help, but lack in giving it back.
The MAM team is one of the few people who gave back in a very practical and cool way, including Euginio.
As it is commonly known, artists in the country are struggling with so little attention that art is given in this day and age.
So the team members have other jobs they do to support themselves.
“Robert, Joshua and I do our own private jobs to keep us going,” Howard says.
“Robert owns Fox City Designs, and I operate under Bharts Gfx.
“Our companies are IPA registered.”
If a group of artists can do this for their town, why can’t everyone else?

  • Hazel, is a 24-year-old freelance writer whose features have appeared in other publications. She is a Resident Doctor

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