Today’s interview features screenprinter, Lusungu Chikamata, founder of Creativity and Noise. It’s a great story of persistence and resourcefulness – I think sometimes we think everything has to be perfect before we can begin when actually, just getting started gets you to perfection faster! Find out how Lusungu learned a brand new skill and launched a creative enterprise, all alongside his day job.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading these posts and engaging with me. I’m so happy that this blog has given me a platform to meet so many incredible people; to be continuously inspired and; to share the sometimes tough, but always enlightening, lessons that business and life in general throw my way. I look forward to more great discoveries and learning, new relationships and further exchange in 2014!
For this year’s round-up, I’ve decided to do things a little bit different and feature the posts that were most popular each month. Enjoy.
Before the productivity vacuum that is December (for all good reasons of course – celebration, family, rest, reflection etc.), this seems like the perfect time to devote to complacency-shaking, butt-kicking inspiration and knowledge, with regards to entrepreneurship.
When I use the term “entrepreneurship”, I refer to all entrepreneurial people – whether they are employed by somebody else, cultivating a side hustle or running their fully-fledged own thing. So, if you’re reading this blog, I’m pretty sure that includes you.
For many of you around the world, today – labour day or May Day – is a holiday. Free time for you to spend relaxing, with yourself or with family and friends, and for some of you, extra time to spend working on building that idea you’ve been nurturing and perhaps even executing.
Whether you’re taking a break from your labour or indeed hustling to transform its shape, here’s some inspiration for you via popular posts from the Afri-love archives.
A new month and new quarter, relatively early in the year, feels like an opportunity to hit refresh and give your 'new year resolve' another go. Perhaps now you have a more developed idea of what you want to achieve in 2013 and a more realistic idea of how you're going to make it all happen.
That's how I'm feeling today. Especially after 2 great meetings – one with my business partner on our strategic direction for the rest of the year and, one with a new friend about a collaboration we're working on – I'm energised and excited about executing!
You may also have noticed that the blog is looking marginally different. I've spent some time over this long weekend making some changes. So, what's new on Afri-love?
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
- ‘African Inspiration on Pinterest’ posts (with features on natural hair, product design, accessories and more)
- Architecture and interior design inspiration (including Afritecture,Swahili-inspired interior design at Lamu’s Baytil Ajaib and Morocco’s Ministero Del Gusto among the most popular)
- The new Buy African series (including fashion and home decor from Sapelle and Beldi’s Moroccan handicraft among the most popular posts of the series)
I am embarassed to say that Afri-love’s 3rd anniversary just slipped by me! On June 11th, I was on a train back from London after modelling in the Shape Custom Creations Afrika Milele show (one of the most exciting fashion shows I’ve experienced – the epitomé of good vibes!). In my exhaustion, I forgot what a great moment it was.
As they say, better late than never. It’s quite timely actually because, after 2 months or so of travelling, returning, catching up and getting back to ‘normal’ routine, I’m finally back in the groove of things. You may have noticed that post frequency is starting to pick up again! It’s fitting that we get things going with, first, some thanks – a HUGE THANK YOU for reading and interacting with me, here on the blog, by subscribing and via Twitter and Facebook too – it all makes this labour of love so much more satisfying and; second, a little reflection with a look at the top 5 posts from the past year. In reverse order:
A great story about pursuing your passion, no matter the naysayers!
Regular readers will know just how obsessed I am with Pinterest (see for yourself). Robyn Gordon is somebody you have to follow.
The passionate Amina, aka sheroxlox, is one of the lovliest people I’ve had the honour to meet in recent years. Find out what drives her.
I’ve been working with the East Africa-based designer for a little over a year now and I feel so lucky to be collaborating with somebody who creates beautiful things and has such a good spirit too. Today marks the launch of her new website and online shop, created by yours truly and the rest of the Asilia team.
One day I will finally visit Lamu in person (and hopefully before the new port is built as, I worry that it will change the nature of the town). Until then, I will lust over all the beautiful homes I’ve discovered, thanks to my best friend, the internet. More Lamu finds on the blog.
What posts did you enjoy most over the past 12 months?
For the newbies – check out the top 3 most popular Afri-love posts of all time:
- Interview with Fashion Stylist and Blogger, Nancie Mwai
- Natural Hair Journey: 10 Months after the Big Chop
- 5 Reasons why Ghana will be the next African App Powerhouse – a guest post from Afriapps founder and my Asilia co-conspirator, Andrew Mugoya
The motivation behind the Afri-love interview series is to demonstrate the possibilities that come with pursuing your passion. The interviews acknowledge that the path is challenging and they show how its travellers have persisted through adversity with wonderful results. As with the blog in general, there is a strong creative thread – poets, painters, musicians, designers, artists, writers and people creating change through activism.
Here’s a round-up of some popular interviews from a diverse group of inspiring people:
Interview with poet, sports writer and musician, Musa Okwonga.
Interview with singer-songwriter, Amira Kheir.
Interview with artist and photographer, Mutua Matheka.
What was your favourite interview?
If you missed yesterday’s best of 2011 installment, “African and Africa-inspired fashion, interior and furniture design,” here it is.
Tune in for the rest of week for:
- Thursday – Popular commentary posts (from technology to natural hair, from life lessons to identity)
- Friday – Top music finds of 2011
Hope you've had a great holiday season so far. I thought I'd take these few days before 2012, to put together a recap of some favourite Afri-love posts (yours and mine) from the past year. Today – it's all about design.
I came across a video clip of Oprah sharing why she admires Lady Gaga and to sum it up – watching someone who is unabashedly being who they are inspires you to also be your true self.
And that's why I am so grateful to all the fabulous folks who have shared their stories, passion and inspiration in the Afri-love interview series. Reading about how others have followed their dreams, overcome barriers and put themselves first – above other people's expectations of them – reminds me of the value in following my own dreams.
It is way TOO easy to veer off the course of doing what's in your heart. It is way too easy to find yourself being carried away by the needs of other people (and convincing yourself that they are now your needs too). Even if you know where you're going, you might not end up where you're headed. Knowing is a crucial first step but what I'm learning is that constantly reminding yourself is just as important!