Every Friday, we’ll be posting a piece on the growing Afri-love idea. Here’s the first installment. Happy weekends all!
I believe that when people look into themselves and accept, love and respect what they find there, they will unlock the abundant energy that creates opportunities for success. In all areas of their lives. When I look inside myself, I know that my passion – the thing that inspires and motivates me most – is Africa. It defines who I am. I embrace and express this appreciation at every opportunity. Doing so has taught me more about myself and made me acknowledge the power of my potential.
Indeed there is such great potential in Africa yet, through many centuries, it appears as if everybody realizes this except Africans themselves. This obliviousness contributing to war, hunger, mismanagement, exploitation… the list is as long as you have the time to make it. Yet still, Africans are accomplishing amazing feats, innovating and finding happiness and purpose. I believe that this demonstrated resilience is not something to be sympathetically applauded but rather to be cultivated and transformed to the point where it is no longer reactive but proactive.
This has to begin with a true understanding of our selves, and of our natural qualities of peace, love, wisdom, bliss, purity and power. Knowledge of these allows us to harness their power through our thoughts and deeds, creating the positive change we want to see. With a vision of what success is, faith, determination and the appropriate work ethic can help us align our present reality to this dream.
Although touching on several subjects, a large focus of this Afri-love exploration will be on the arts. As long as human beings have existed, art has been used to capture the collective imagination and make tangible our dreams. Art has reflected our identity, detailed our experience and imagined our possibilities. These are the exact qualities that can help us to know and understand who we are, highlight our strengths and weaknesses and create a positive vision of the future that can be ours. Because art is open to interpretation and can interact with people through multiple senses, art not only records but can reshape. Past and present reality can be used to model new realities.
In the production of this art there is again an example of why the self must be central. In my observation and experience: only when the work is made for the self, will it be meaningful to others. Only when the artist is honest with her- or himself will she or he be able to project truth.
He who fears the sun will not become chief
— Ugandan proverb
Somewhat related reading: an interesting blog post by Paulo Coelho on the artist’s mission with particular reference to writing.
Photograph taken in Essaouira, Morocco.