30 Day Health Reset Challenge: In the Interests of Getting Things Done

We all know that, if we’re going to be putting in the work that’s required to make things happen this year, we cannot neglect our bodies. They are the precious vehicles that help us to turn thoughts and ideas into action.

Yet, if you’re anything like I have been in the past, the first things that get compromised when I’m busy are:

  • Exercising
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Healthy eating

Probably in that order!

And it’s January. You more than likely overindulged in some festive eating (my excuse, throughout December, was – “it’s Christmas!”). And you more than likely didn’t move half as much as you usually do (it’s cold! I need to rest! Etc. …).

It’s almost 2 weeks into the month and the resolution fever has probably started to die down for most but, I want to let you in on a challenge that might just change the course of your year. It’s a challenge that I’m embarking on, along with my partner, his sisters and a few of my friends. And I would love for you to join us.

Continue reading “30 Day Health Reset Challenge: In the Interests of Getting Things Done”

Kenyan Grafitti Artists Spray for Change

Spray for Change Graffiti Art Kenya


Spray for Change Graffiti Art Entries

10 Kenyan graffiti artists are creating images of a 'New Kenya' at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as part of 'Spray for Change', sponsored by Basco Paints. You can vote for your favourite piece and simultaneously be entered for a cash prize draw. 

I think the project is a great idea but, I find that the entries are generally a bit cliché. Did the commercial element (i.e. sponsors, location) restrict the artists freedom of expression and style?

What do you think? Which artist has your vote?

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The Best of 2012: Art, Design, Interviews, Commentary & Music

It will be 2013 in under a week and that means it’s time for one of those lists summing up the highlights of the year! The following is a selection of posts that you found most interesting (as per the analytics); posts that I most enjoyed creating; exciting discoveries and; some off-blog but on-topic articles.

Art and Design

 

Interview with Artist Toyin Odutola

Interviews

Continue reading “The Best of 2012: Art, Design, Interviews, Commentary & Music”

The First Ever International Day of the Girl & Other Good Stuff for Girls

International Day of the Girl October 11 2012 Egypt Pyramids Pink

Yesterday I had the honour of celebrating the first every International Day of the Girl with hundreds of amazing women and girls at London's Southbank Centre. I was one of a group of around 180 mentors including physicists, authors, fashion designers, airline pilots, radio presenters, Team GB olympians, entrepreneurs, reverends, activists, bloggers and more – a very diverse and interesting group of women! We mentored 11-18 year olds while on the London Eye. Elsewhere in the world, nations showed their solidarity with girls by turning their landmarks pink (including the pyramids in Egypt).

 

Because I am a Girl

The event was related to the Women of the World (WOW) festival which you'll have read me go on about earlier this year. It was driven by charity Plan UK who are campaigning for the education of girls to be a top development priority (you can find out more about Because I am a Girl and sign their petition).

For the occassion, I thought I'd share some other girl-dedicated initiatives:

 

The Girl Effect

The Girl Effect is a MOVEMENT. It's about about ending poverty. And it's about doing so by investing in girls: "The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads and villages and towns and countries"

 

 View more great Girl Effect videos.

 

Afri-Girl

Here's a girl (a woman actually) I know who's on a mission to inspire girls and young women in Kenya that they can pursue their dream careers with confidence. Afri-girl aims to open girls up to the opportunities available to them by sharing the stories of those who have gone for it already.

Watch this space for more.

 

Parting words

I had a few interesting discussions yesterday, about feminism, activism and an observed apathy towards pushing for change. It's been the theme of my week actually. We get frustrated about things and sometimes we ignore the things we wish were different, sometimes we just complain but, why don't we get up and DO? Why don't we act on creating the change we want? I've been reflecting about how I can be more active in the interest of the things that I stand for.

What's been frustrating you lately?

Pyramids photo 

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Related reading:

Don't miss an installment – different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter or on Google+.

Top Afri-love picks for the Women at the World Festival 2012, at London’s Southbank Centre

Wow-img2a

 

The Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival returns this month to coincide with International Women’s Day on Thursday 8th March. Celebrating the formidable strength and inventiveness of women, there is an even more exciting line-up of activities, talks, debates and performances than last year.

Continue reading “Top Afri-love picks for the Women at the World Festival 2012, at London’s Southbank Centre”

You Already Know What You Need to Do

29-lessons-expanded

On my last birthday, I shared 29 things that I'd learned over my 29 years. As a forgetful person (i.e. a human being), I thought I'd expand on those lessons to remind myself of their value. Here's one …

You already know what you need to do before you can articulate it in your mind. Your body communicates it through unease, discomfort or even pain. Everywhere you look, there's a disharmony that, when interrogated, leads right back to the thing that you know you need to do. Even though at first, they seem completely unrelated.

Anxiety? Fear. Your present circumstances might be bad but change is infinitely worse. Having to back down on ideas, situations or people that you've been standing up for so long. Having to admit that you were shortsighted, or naive, or impulsive. Or that you weren't loving yourself enough. 

Having to do things differently. To step aside, to step back, to start again. To try something new. Uncertainty. The possibility that you may well make the same mistakes again. The dread that you'll find yourself in this precarious situation all over again.

Difficulty. Life is already difficult as it is without having to admit your vulnerability. WIthout having to admit that you are indeed human, just like everybody who will judge you, talk behind your back and secretly be pleased by your difficulties.

Then you dare to get past the discomfort, fear, pride and the challenges (and it is daring because you've got to just leap into that murky, scary territory). You realise that in fact, the magnitude of it was imagined. It's not actually as bad as you feared and people don't actually care half as much as you thought. Things are actually easier, now that you have surrendered to what wanted to be.

Now there is space for all the goodness that wanted to come to you but never had the chance. Goodness that you didn't even know existed, manifested in ways you'd never predict.

You already knew what you needed to do and you ask yourself, "why didn't I act on the knowledge sooner?" Alas, all that matters is that you are here. Now.

View the full 29 lessons from 29 years here.

The Love Letter continues

As much as this blog has been a love letter to the continent I call home, it’s also been an outlet for me to explore how to better (and better love) myself.

Blogger Brigitte Lyons puts it so well when she says, “if you want to change the world, better yourself first.” That was the thinking behind this whole Afri-love idea. In order for us to inspire, encourage, demand and create the changes we want to see in our continent, we have to first know, be proud of and love who we are and then, act from that position.

Overcoming the madness
Last year was the busiest year I’ve experienced. Getting a business off the ground is no joke and all the learning, administration, establishing of relationships, bidding for projects, servicing clients and actually doing the core work was a lot to handle. On top of all that, I attempted to blog every weekday and pursue other personal projects. At the end of the year I was exhausted and overwhelmed yet hopeful that the Christmas break would give me an opportunity to work on the things that usually get attention last.

I had a wonderful holiday with my family, who I don’t get to see very often. Wonderful but, not productive in the way that I had planned. January rolled around and it wasn’t exactly the fresh start I’d expected. I found this post from Miss Modish and I could relate, almost down to the word, with how she’d felt before she decided she needed to change things up, for her sanity and health.

Continue reading “The Love Letter continues”

The world I choose – a Think Act Vote Futures Interview

Think Act Vote (?!X) is my kind of initiative. Using creativity and culture, the think-tank explores and expresses issues of sustainability, citizenship, politics and essentially, change. Most importantly, they remind us that change is in our own hands. We have agency – to dream and to take action towards making those dreams come true.

Recently, Think Act Vote asked me to contribute to their Futures Interview series and share my dream of the future. This is it.

What’s the future you choose? Share it with Think Act Vote here and check out the many inspiring visions.

Tuko Pamoja bags

Tuko-Pamoja-bags

Although often associated with our continent, HIV and AIDS are suffered universally. The Tuko Pamoja Sponsorship Program is an unusual initiative in that it exists to support women living with HIV/AIDS by celebrating unity. It's strange to use the word "celebration" in the context of a disease that is associated with so much suffering but I think that it's through acknowledging and embracing our interconnectedness that we begin to properly value, respect and love each other. A swahili phrase, "Tuko Pamoja" means "we are together/united". By purchasing a Tuko Pamoja bag, you provide a gift for a woman living with HIV/AIDS in Arizona, USA while at the same time, support a woman living with HIV/AIDS in rural Tanzania.

Continue reading “Tuko Pamoja bags”

Movements and bodies, in the spirit of living unchained

Live-Unchained-Logo 
Everyone appears to want to live unchained. Whether they say they want to be rich, successful, famous, or the most seemingly  elusive of them all - free. Many consider
these things as fairly unattainable yet useful for target practice and anecdote. They are things that are relegated to someday if I'm lucky or eventually when...
When what? 
There is another story. One where we cast our eyes back to the present and realise that we are achieving wealth, success, acknowledgement and joy right now. The £20
note you find in the pocket of jeans you haven't worn for ages. The completion of that challenging and exciting project you've been working on. A thank you from
somebody who enjoyed the article we wrote or the point we made. Doing that thing we love that makes us feel on top of the world.
As simple as dancing. Existing within my body as an experience of creating and being art.
And the point of my long-winded reflection: I'm so happy to be collaborating with all the amazing women over at Live Unchained. Check out my guest post this week:
"Through my body, I live unchained."