The Best Tip for Being Productive in the Pursuit of Your Dreams

Taking yourself out of your usual environment, every once in a while, is a great way to get some perspective on your life. It is often during these displacements that I learn new things about myself or remember old lessons (you know how we humans forget!).

I was away in New York for most of July. It wasn’t a holiday as I spent most of it busy working and, despite this, or actually, because of it, I came to some game-changing conclusions.

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The Upcoming Africa Writes Festival & New Books to Look Out For

Africa Writes, the Royal African Society's annual literature festival runs this year from Friday 5th through Sunday 7th July, at the British Library in London, UK. The programme includes several panel discussions, poetry readings, book launches, workshops, parties and more. I'm already working out my plan of attack! Meanwhile, here are books from some of the participating authors, many of them new titles that will be launched during the event.

 

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Fairytales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman

A collection of stories about what it meant to be young, gay and Somali. A reading experience fusing hip hop, graphic illustrations, Arabic calligraphy and folklore studded with Kiswahili and Somali slang.

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9 Acts of Kindness

In consciously exploring how to be kinder to myself, I observe again and again, how forgetful I can be when it comes to remembering what’s in my best interest. To help evade such unkind amnesia and to encourage you to share your experiences and ideas (and because I love making lists), I’ve decided to keep a running list.

So here are my Acts of Kindness, #1 – #9 (in no particular order):

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The best of 2011: Afri-love interviews

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:

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Interview with author and black film aficionado, Nadia Denton (left), and accessories designer Adele Dejak.

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Interview with poet, sports writer and musician, Musa Okwonga.

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Interview with feminist activist Amina Doherty aka sheroxlox (left) and multi-dimensional creative, Ann aka afrolicious.

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Interview with singer-songwriter, Amira Kheir.

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Interview with artist and photographer, Mutua Matheka.

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Interview with artist and creative consultant, Kesha Bruce (left) and artist, photographer and writer, Kameelah Rasheed.

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Interview with blogger, writer and commentator, Minna Salami, aka MsAfropolitan (left) and developer, author and entrepreneur, Andrew Mugoya.

What was your favourite interview?

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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

Get almost-daily Afri-love direct via RSS or straight to your email inbox. Want it less often? Subscribe for juicy extra content (2-4 emails per month). 

An interview with poet, writer and musician, Musa Okwonga

An emerging trend with the inspiring people I’ve interviewed is that many are masters of several trades. Today’s interviewee, Musa Okwonga, is no exception. Musa is a poet, writer, musician, City lawyer by training, member of poetry collective A Poem in between People (PiP), a blogger for The New York Times and The Independent and a twice-published author. His first (and award-winning) football book is titled A Cultured Left Foot and his second  is titled, Will You Manage?

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Africa- and Diaspora-related events this November

November's already here. A reminder that the year is almost through but, before we get ready to welcome in 2012, there are TONS of exciting events to attend. Here are just a few. They're very London-centric so I'd love to hear about all the interesting things going on in your corner of the globe – please share.

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TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER

Launch of Afriapps book: African Apps in a Global Marketplace
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You might remember Andrew Mugoya's guest posts about African apps ("5 Reasons why Ghana is the next African app powerhouse", "Learning from the Success of Nollywood"). Today, Andrew launches an ebook on the subject that is free to download for a limited period. Get it while it's hot!

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THURSDAY 3 OCTOBER

Film-Africa-2011

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Diaspora tales

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According to the UN, "around 200 million people who identify themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent." In celebration of the diverse and flourishing African Diaspora (and indeed the UN International Year for People of African Descent!), I'd like to share with you two great projects that I've had the honour to work on recently.

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Diasporan Darlings: a website sharing the unique experiences of life, love and work in the Diaspora – informing, showcasing, engaging and entertaining. 

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Spora Stories: an initiative by acclaimed playwright and scriptwriter, Ade Solanke, to bring the dynamic stories of the African diaspora to the stage and screen – great stories, well told.

To see more of the design work created, check out Diasporan Darlings and Spora Stories in the Asilia portfolio.

Happy weekends to all – at home and "in the D"!

Interview with artist, photographer & writer, Kameelah Rasheed

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Today I'm really happy to bring you this interview with artist, documentary photographer, writer and youth educator, Kameelah Rasheed. Along with participating in several groups exhibitions across the US and having her photography and writing featured in a number of print and online publications, Kameelah is also the co-founder of Mambu Badu, a photography collective for emerging female photographers of African descent.

Here, Kameelah discusses her ambitions, the challenge of perfectionism and the power of storytelling. I am super inspired by this driven woman!

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