Sol Guy, TV Producer + Activist :: 120 Seconds

Vancouver based 4Real co-founder, Sol Guy emphasizes the importance of dreams, our power to manifest them and ultimately how beneficial it is for us all to make them come true.

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About Sol:

My name is Sol Guy. I'm an artist manager, TV and Film producer. Really I hate titles, what I do best is dream and find ways to make the best of those dreams come true. Sounds corny, but it’s the truth. Our power to manifest change is supreme and infinite.

I get involved in projects as long as I am passionate about them and can say yes to the following questions: Is this project good for people and would my father be proud of it?

Currently I work with K'naan, produce and host a series called 4REAL and I'm developing several film projects.

I have two heroes; they are both separate and they are one. One of them is in my DNA but no longer alive. The other is sixty-seven years old and very much alive. Both live with me every day.

My father's name was William Richard Guy. He was from Kansas City, Missouri and was an only child who never knew his father. I believe that because of that loss in particular, he became a fiercely loyal and outstanding father to my sisters and me. He was not without flaws, but the interesting thing about death is that the very best of you remains once you go. So it is with my memory of my father.

I grew up in a small town called Grand Forks in the interior of BC (light years from Kansas City, but that's another story). My father, my sister Shoshana, and I were the only Black people in the community. In fact, besides a couple of Indian and Chinese families, we were the only people of colour at all. This reality was not lost on my father, and he made sure that we understood from a young age that we were not the same, we were different yet special. He gave me Roots to read when I was 11 and made me write a book report for him. He also told me stories of a great man, another hero of mine to this day with whom we shared an affinity all the way to my Dad's deathbed. That man is The Champ, the greatest, Muhammad Ali! My father was inspired by Ali and made sure that I was aware of the courage, intelligence, talent and unbelievable audacity of The Champ.

Who goes ahead and tells the world they are the greatest? The greatest, that's who. Some scream it, others live it but the most authentic ones BE IT in thoughts and actions. My father challenged me to be the greatest at whatever I did. These two men taught me with their words, and their stature but mostly with their actions. The similarity between them was that they did not do what was popular. They did not go with the crowd. In fact, they went in the farthest lane possible; the lane that is unpopular at times; the lane that is uncertain and the lane in which the only solace is your instinct.

When my father decided he had to leave the U.S. of A. for the unknown of Canada's wilderness, it was because he did not agree with what he was told to be the norm and the right thing to do. He did know that the ghetto and that mentality would most likely kill him. So he left all that he knew behind to step into the unknown. Who does that? Who is that brave? The greatest, that's who. When Ali stepped out as Muhammad Ali the day after he won "The Title" and then went on to declare himself a part of the Nation of Islam and later refuse induction to the US military, he was acting upon his beliefs. Although he is known as a hero for it now, we forget that this was a very unpopular decision at the time. He was hated by both Blacks and Whites. He was denied the ability to earn a living and feed his family. However, these men believed in something else, something higher, themselves and their principles. They also knew that change is constant, undeniable and not easy. In fact, it is the most difficult of circumstances. However, if you embrace change, the world will reveal the most beautiful things the universe has to offer. These men taught me to embrace it.

When my father was on his way out of this life, we sat and talked. I was 25 and scared as hell, but I did what he always told me to do. I kept my head high and my back straight! During those last few days that I sat beside him, it was only right that we passed the time by me reading him chapters from a biography of Ali. Chapter by chapter we sat with the words, which in themselves were not important. The man we loved and the idea of him was paramount and present in that room. I left my father one day promising to come back in a couple of weeks. I took the book and promised to finish it when I returned. We never got a chance to finish it.

I still have that book. It travels with me wherever I go and so do the two of them, Eternal Champions in my heart and mind! When I come to the crossroads and have to make a decision, I ask myself what would they do and would my decision make them proud. Then the choice gets real easy!

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