Hip hop artist K.A.S.P. (Rob Sawan) using his motivational speaker skills to get the audience at a Penticton event on their feet and dancing. Steve Kidd/Western News

K.A.S.P launches motivational speaking tour

Spreading the word with music and story

When it comes to keeping busy, there are few people as busy as former South Okanagan resident Rob Sawan, or K.A.S.P., as he is known on the stage as an award-winning aboriginal hip hop artist.

But in recent years, Sawan has branched out drawing on his own experience to develop another career as a motivational speaker; besides working on a retrospective album featuring the best of 16 years of music, he’s currently setting out on his Addictions Awareness Motivational Tour.

Hip hop artist K.A.S.P is heading out on a motivational speaking tour.

For Sawan, every voice is important. He’s hoping to inspire people who are too shy or don’t know how to make their voice heard to stand up and speak out.

“The addictions awareness motivational tour is to let people know they are not alone. Everybody has their story,” said Sawan. “Treat everything as a learning experience; find the value in all situations and learn from that.”

For Sawan, a Cree who eventually moved to the Penticton Indian Band, that experience includes early years in East Vancouver that helped inspire his career path.

“For me, it was my dad and seeing him battle addiction,” said Sawan, adding they he tries to focus not on the negative aspects, but the positive of what he learnt from the experience, like trying to be a better father and a better person.

“Every day is almost like going to ceremony for me, being thankful for every day. I could have just as easily ended up on East Hastings,” said Sawan. “I could have used all the excuses in the world, but instead of focusing on the negative, I focus on the positive and my traditions.”

Where you come from, where you have been and knowing that your story is important and can help people is key to Sawan’s message, which he says is universal.

“I work with everybody, not just aboriginal people,” said Sawan. “We all need help in our own way.”

Sawan’s own battle with substance abuse also inspires his work.

“Thanks to the creator, on April 14, I will be nine years sober,” said Sawan. “I’ve had my battles with addiction. Growing up with an addict, you learn to lie, cheat steal and manipulate, all those things.

“The past is the past. You only use the past for two things. That’s positive learning experiences and positive memories.”

The Addictions Awareness Motivational Tour is to let people know they are not alone, he explained, and that everyone has their own story.

“Treat everything as a learning experience; find the value in all situations and learn from that,” he said. “Don’t beat yourself up if you slip.

“Find the value in being clean even for two days, five days or 20 days, to celebrate the small accomplishments.”

Sawan’s tour is taking him from B.C. to Ontario, with stops in Victoria and Kingston. Sawan can be reached on Facebook at RobKaspSawan or by email at kkasp79@yahoon.com.

Just Posted

Vees drop heartbreaker in West Kelowna, host Teddy Bear Toss Saturday

Penticton loses overtime game to West Kelowna Warriors

Apex hosting Canadian selections mogul event

Apex Freestyle Club along with some local competitors from the B.C. Freestyle Ski team are competing

Video: Update one man arrested in Okanagan Falls

The RCMP has requested the school go into lockdown

Okanagan Taste: Favourite food and drinks of the past year

When it comes to food and drink, the most frequent questions I… Continue reading

Christmas hamper volunteers pitch in to give back to Penticton

Volunteers begin work in preparation for Salvation Army hamper distribution

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Most Read