Last week was another busy one on the blog with Afri-inspiration coming from all angles. The new interview series continued with two really energizing interviews with young Africans doing great things for the advancement of our continent.
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This coming week, look out for:
Quote of the week
Africa on film in London town
An esteemed African graphic agitator whose uses design as a torch of social good
Foxy African-inspired adornment
Interviews with more passionate young Africans doing big things
A celebration for Equatorial Guinea's Independence Day
Reflections on food and the things we take for granted
TGIF! A Fela extravaganza to celebrate the legend's birthday
I remember something my Dad always used to insist when somebody was struggling with a machine or a key and so on: it’s been designed to work. His point was that, if we found ourselves exerting too much effort with little success, there was a strong possibility that we weren’t approaching it in the right way. Of course this assumes that indeed the machine, cupboard etc. has been well-designed but, the lesson remains: human endeavour, and the products of it, are based upon making our lives easier. Warmer, cooler, less stressful, more healthy… it all boils down to improvements to the way we run our lives, to the way our bodies run, to the way our societies ‘run’.
At the beginning of this year, I decided that instead of creating resolutions, I would come up with a mantra for 2010. One statement that would sum up my goals and inspire me to drive towards them enthusiastically. I decided that this year would be the year of “doing and discovering.” Vague, yet empowering. The fact that these three words encompass so much, meant that I was setting myself up to succeed, rather than setting myself up to fail.
The play is amazing, I highly recommend it. Dealing with all kinds and shades of difficult issues, in the context of the African American experience, I believe that it will resonate with black women everywhere … and probably all women, everywhere. This is one of my favourite all-time reads and I cannot wait to see how the unique play is transformed for the big screen. It comes out in November (in the US), I hope that I won't have to wait another year to see it in the UK!
One of the first things I did today was read a Seth Godin post and found it very Afri-love appropriate. It's all about using marketing tools such as storytelling, on ourselves. And doing it often to convince/remind ourselves of our amazingness.
For a large part of my employed life, I worked for a progressive sustainability communications agency. A key belief of the company, and of many successful people all over the world and over centuries, is that you have to have a vision of what success looks like, before you can achieve it.
I worked with different kinds of clients, all of whom were professing some level of commitment to sustainable development. From previously unusual suspects such as multinational corporations, to the more expected non-profit organizations; from national government departments to local authorities and; everything in-between. Perhaps because it was my bread and butter, and something at the front of mind every day, I often started to feel the frustration of hammering the same messages, doubting that they were really getting through. Or whether those that commissioned them in the first place were merely ticking boxes.
The Afri-love hypothesis puts the self very much at the centre of any possible progress. A friend was recently talking to me about how she wanted to spend her days helping and empowering women but realised that, in order to do that effectively, she would first have to help and empower herself. My first thought was that’s a very brave thing to voice and then, I asked myself, why shouldn’t it be the norm? That level of self-reflection and self-awareness is what this Afri-love idea is all about.
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.