I’ve been very blessed, and this fact manifests in different ways. Like how I always manage to pass my exams, showing knowledge that was clearly in depth and well understanding of the stuff I was taught. But at the same time I would always look back in disbelief because I felt like my studying was half-assed.
Imagine one butt cheek..that’s what my work ethic looks like!
But despite this entity in me that just always wants to lounge like an Arabian prince, I find an fire which fuelled me to get out of bed today and list down the tasks I want to accomplish. That fire also ignites my passion when it comes to making music, both as a vocalist and producer but it also fuels my writing, and helps put the figurative pen to the page for both this blog and More Branches. Which as some of you may know is a Nigerian-based magazine, who’s sole aim is to deliver conscious, relevant content geared towards the emerging intellectuals in the youth of Afro-society. I am a regular contributor and I gotta say, I love my colleagues and I love the mission.
But what’s my point?
Well to explain my point better I need to tell you about what I did yesterday, or rather where I went:
The School of Oriental and African Studies in London where I attended the last day of a two-day conference hosted by the African Development Forum (ADF). ADF is a student-led initiative of which Samia Nkrumah, (the daughter of Ghana’s first president) was a keynote speaker. Obviously, I tried to get close to her. I don’t know why, because there was certainly not enough time to have a calmed and thoughtful conversation. Maybe it was just to come close to the legacy of one Africa’s liberators, maybe it was to feel the spirit of Nkrumah emanate and flow from her through me…
(too much? yeah, I’m sure she thought so too)
On top of this, the conference had an art exhibit at which I met and briefly conversed with the artists and the organizer. Black people who carried themselves with an air of intellectual grace. It was endearing and inspiring to see. These people seemed my age, if not slightly older, so it was a surreal almost intimidating experience. One of the artists, like me studied something unrelated to her passions in university, and in her and her eyes I felt the same resilient crackling flame in myself that almost got put out by unsupportive ‘African parents’.
The organizer, Edwin Otto, a Ghanaian himself co-founded Indelibl, a company with the aim of providing a platform for emerging African artists by facilitating exposure and creating a marketplace for black content. They sell prints, posters, t-shirts and partner with initiatives like the ADF to show the world what black talent is made of.
But the highlight of the conference for me, was when Oluwafemi Nylander, a multi-lingual poet and social worker, performed something of a spoken-word x acapella rap, which to me felt like a call to arms.
But what’s my point?
My point is, it was a blessing to see people who look like me living their best life: entrepreneurs, bloggers, poets, youth-workers, activits who looked and sounded like me in such esteemed, respected positions, sharing their voice-the voice of the youth and the oppressed.
Individuals who showed themselves to be true to the cause that we at More Branches call the New Age: A time of Afrocentric growth and empowerment. A time where Africans are rising from their post-colonial slumber across the continent. My point is that by attending this event, I was given the message that there are people out there already doing the work I want to do, so I don’t need to rush myself.
With a familiar and deftly placed hand on my arm, Nkrumah spoke to from beyond the grave and told me to turn that one butt-cheek work ethic to a whole toned and sculpted ass.
A huge thanks to the speakers and talents I saw yesterday; with your daunting treasure troves of knowledge and black excellence, I was blessed to witness your own embers burn so brightly and hope they continue to do so.
You can find the a couple of images on my instagram @loverrrman