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Made in Africa- Journey of an African

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The start of colourful stories and matches – What’s Next?

The stories of Black and brown people are multifaceted – there is not one narrative that fits all and the world needs to prepare for that. In order to stop magnifying one type of truth. So as we see a world matching for Black lives matter – whats next? Here are three things that needs to happen otherwise all these protests are simply meet and greets with some vandalism done in some parts of the world- here are some things that need to happen in order to ensure change. Let me know your thoughts and where we can team up to drive action…

  1. Slicing the elephant and not the tail.

The last days have had so many issues been mixed up together. Police brutality, Racism, Ethnicity discrimination, Nationalism, Capitalism, Crime, socioeconomics, macroeconomics … all more so right because these are somehow interconnected. Some of which are symptoms to some of the harshest and difficult issues across the globe. What we should understand is that- this fight goes beyond human dignity. Everyone can be nice to people – however we touch on equality and the long lasting consequences that some groups of people face because of the treatments they encounter. We need to slice the issues and core problems at hand and not the symptoms. We are talking about systematic and constitutional power houses that need to be deconstructed. Ask 3 people what the problem is of the same experience from their point of view – and you will come back with 3 different problems/symptoms. In order to move forward we need to slice the core issues. We are talking about constitutional degradation of groups of people and if you dig deeper you will find hidden worms of where the actual issues are – and surprisingly most of these institutions have been silent. If you need something to see some real life every day cases see : “when they see us”; “12 Angry Men”; “Dear white people” ; and then to life from a black family narrative view without seeing the thugs and poverty stereotype “Americas Black-ish”; “Nigerias Africancity”;”SABC Generations”

2. Addressing each slice

Once you slide the elephant – it stinks and the worms are alive and more than decades of rot will surface! We are still scratching the shiny surface. Addressing each slice – will be more that just voting in a new president or mayor or whomever. Addressing these stinky slices will require the participation of everybody – particularly the powerhouses. We are talking about addressing the very reasons why we have inequality, poverty- hunger which all lead to the road we are matching today. It is these things that cause the socio-economic gaps that lead some black and brown people to be in comprising situations that might be having them encounter more police controls or simply more stigma. Each slice has representative that needs to outline what they are doing to close the gaps we have. Here are some slices:

  • State/Public Media : – how are we ensuring we have multiple narratives of what being black and brown is really ? The narrative of thugs, poverty , disease are getting stale. Whats` happening to the narrative of normal black people?
  • Family unit :- Kids are the most innocent creatures ever. I have seen kids being curious of my skin color because they have never seen a person like me before ( in the 21st century) there is no excuse of our children to be subjected to one narrative of what the world is, this for me is the first place that change needs to occur! Representation matters and children need to have that diversity from early on where they are taught what inclusion means. it`s not about being nice – it`s allowing kids to interact with each other at an equal level with even adults from early on.
  • Schools :- How are we ensuring that education is accessible to all groups of people. The education systems is the core fundamental of human development, already there we stretch the inequality gap!
  • Government :- an audit of policies should be done particularly on what security means for all people, on migration, on labour markets.
  • Industries :- Diversity and inclusion goes beyond quotas – you cannot care for a people that you do not understand or take time to learn their stories. How are you having diverse groups involved in strategic discussions and listening to the people – which stories are magnifies and how do your decisions take place? Inclusion truly means having people partake in the decision making process. Company policies and decision making matrixes should be audited and revised to ensure diversity is going beyond to true inclusion. Are you going to increase sponsorship to ensure inclusion.
  • Banks :- the interest rates of the world bank has been questioned before for example ? Why is it that struggling nations with black folks have the highest interest while the rich keep getting richer ?

3.From voting to equal playing ground

The actions need to go beyond voting – voting is simply ensuring we have the right leadership in place. However even the best leadership in swampy nasty playing grounds as we see above will not be able to bring effective change. The playing ground that adults play in need to change. Black and brown folks go beyond America – we have black and brown folks everywhere across the world. Very powerful socio and economic powers have so longing dominated by white males that the grounds are so conducive for people of similar backgrounds. I would like to hear how we will be ensuring the playing grounds are levelled!

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The future of power is going to be full of color and you are in it.

The world doesn’t really understand what the future of power will look like. Let me tell you something : the future of power is going to be painted by shades of colourful stories coming to life to influence a new era and age. Stories of black and brown folks that were tainted – now being told by their true owners in their own voices. More so magnified in the future because the honest truth is the population of the future is going to be itself full of colour.

The world has misunderstood the growing black and brown populations for far too long. For so long, the stories of these folks have been splattered on a canvas whose background was already tainted by those who narrated the tales on behalf of these people. The future voice is diverse and so strong that without doubt the traditional walls of what “normal” looks like will be broken down.

If you paint power today, your image would have deep arching strokes of definitions of power that have been painted by a predominately white world at that time very traditional white males who even at some point made decisions on behalf of women.

What will change and how will this canvas be flipped:

It all begins in the family unit

Now more than ever the family unit , teachers , leaders – need to be united to allow children from a young age to not only see stories where they are represented but to allow children from a very young age to also tell stories and ask questions about what we have for so long normalised.

Deconstruction of the word “normal”

The type of power that has been normalised has been the male macho leadership style with blue eyes and blond hair if we could put a description profile. I would bet that the future of power is not macho and it certainly isn’t going to be purely white – its going to be full of color.

Higher tuning in and listening

As the narrative is changing there are many that are magnifying the very voices that were silenced or simple not listened to. The world is attentive particularly in this time where we are all in this reflective and thoughtful times. As we go forth keep tuning in and magnifying voices and stories of black and brown folks that will color the world.

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How to use the momentum of todays current issues of injustice and bad leadership?

The last week was immensely intense, because for the first time in history after a very long time every single person across the world was able to be part of the day to day struggle of people of color. It hurt to see live the injustices, for others it was an aha moment of the inequality and the impacts or grave consequences it has for some citizens of the world because of non other than the color of their skin. Millions have since then flooded the streets in protest and the question remains – what happens after or what can you do to use this momentum to turn around the systems of injustice?

This is so crucial because the outcry is beyond Goerge Floyd, it goes beyond America? It is a global issue that affects everyone – particularly minorities, marginalised groups, the vulnerable and people of color. This goes beyond the criminal justice systems – it sips into the cracks of the day to day life.

This calls for everyones attention and a big applause to those who have remained steady and peaceful during this time despite the rumbling anger felt.

I understand the violence, however the consequences will be bared by the very people we are protesting for – so think twice when you have to become violent. Some of the most vulnerable peoples stores who depended highly on these, have been destroyed.

Thats not something we must celebrate – rather the united forces and that most protests have been a loud voice of courageous people across the world and that in itself is commendable. Lets keep on!

What this shows, is that the way will be paved and is being paved by those who are taking action.

Protesting is just the beginning – what is to follow is so crucial and is in our hands as young leaders across the globe with a voice.

Have been grateful for the last months as well, because it is a time that allowed the entire globe to slow down and reflect about the current status quo. I believe it is why the moment is so right for us to take action beyond the protests happening across the world.

As we reflect about the past days, may we also take time to educate ourselves about how the systems work and who is influencing these. This will be crucial to address the right decision makers and bring the change in the community level, institution level, city level and wider to country levels starting from the smallest nucleus of decision making bodies. As you go forth ask yourself how much you know about the systems you want to change and understand the organisation structure of these as well as the deeper issues at hand beyond the iceberg at community level.

Dear young leaders, we have to organise ourselves strategically in ways that reflect an understanding of where the change needs to be and by whom it will driven by in order to bring about the modelling and election of good leaders and hold accountable where the leadership you expected is not fulfilled.

THERE IS CERTAINLY HOPE GOING FORWARD AS ALL YOUNG PEOPLE UNITE. THERE IS MORE TO DO BEYOND THE PROTESTS. LETS:

I) GET INFORMED

learn about the various systems in place where injustices occur and dissect the drivers of these – who are the main decision makers and how to they get there?

II) TAKE ACTION

Whenever one needs to build a high performing team – the team structure matters- so take action to remove the bad apples after learning where the core drivers are and remove them from power. The more we are, the more our voice counts.

III) UNITE AND ENGAGE

The more we are, the more our voice counts. discuss and sparr with other young people.

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mobius motors

THE PROBLEM

The majority of roads in rural and peri-urban areas of sub-saharan Africa are degraded. Roads are often cracked and riddled with potholes. Rural roads in particular are invariably uneven, sandy/rocky tracks; making transportation difficult and ultimately restricting mobility.

The most common vehicles across regions like East Africa are imported from more developed countries such as Japan, UAE and India. These vehicles are designed for areas with good road infrastructure – they are not built for an African environment. High import duties also make these vehicles relatively expensive.

Beyond high purchase prices, running a car in countries like Kenya is also expensive. High maintenance costs as a result of bad roads and inappropriate vehicles have continued to push the cost of owning a car up, locking out entry-level buyers, particularly entrepreneurs who require cost-effective vehicles in order to successfully operate their businesses.

solution – cars tailored for Africa by Africa.

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OLIBERTE

Oliberté is a sustainable brand supporting workers’ rights in sub-Saharan Africa. They believe in empowerment, transparency, and doing right by all. This means making premium quality products with a lifetime warranty, and it means treating every employee, everywhere in the world, with respect.

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Maxhosa by Laduma

“MAXHOSA BY LADUMA knitwear started in 2010 with Laduma Ngxokolo’s desire to explore knitwear design solutions that would be suitable for amakrwala (Xhosa initiates). His vision was to create a modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection that would be suitable for amakrwala, who are prescribed by tradition to dress up in new dignified formal clothing for six months after their manhood initiation. As a person who has undergone the process, Laduma felt that he had to develop premium knitwear that celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics. Along his journey into exploring astonishing traditional Xhosa beadwork patterns, symbolism and colours, he discovered that they would be the best source of inspiration for the knitwear, which he then reinterpreted into modern knitwear.”

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Craftsmanship, Culture and History

Style is a mentality, influenced by fashion, but it comes from within”, according to ONYCHEK’s blog. “All that matters is that it feels right to you. If it gives you that extra boost of personal confidence… That’s style”. Fascinated by the story of one young entrepreneur’s quest to bring African fashion to the world, we decided to find out more. by africanista

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West Africa Design Inspiration

Whether you’re welcoming guests for the first time or coming home after a long day at work, a great hallway should be a gateway, separating the stresses of the outside world from the haven that is your home. So even it is a non-living space, don’t be tempted to relegate it to a dumping ground.

The secret of a great hallway is to make a statement, whilst keeping it simple and clean! Therefore great storage in hallways is the key. I have a beautiful vintage ‘Black Forest’ chest in my hallway, which houses all our everyday shoes (it is lined with rose scented lining paper, so it also acts as a source of scent). I display my West-African statues and have (always )fresh flowers in Merino or mid century glass vases underneath my hexagonal Art Deco mirror, which fits my 1930s house perfectly. This is just a glimpse, but it gives any visitor an idea of what is to come.  Article By Eva Sonaike

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What is Luxury in Africa

Travel blogger Ana Silva O’Reilly is an avid traveller, who religiously follows her mother’s mottos:

‘If you leave home, it has to be better’, or ‘I love camping, in 5 star hotels’.

Among the surprises Africa brought her were how beautiful it was – and how well luxury was actually delivered. She also mentioned the quality of the food

“I was surprised by the food in South Africa, and weirdly enough in some cases, how similar it was to Portuguese (my home country). That made me love it even more.”

I know people are impressed by the food on safari, particularly the meals conjured up well away from a modern kitchen.

Whether it is a bush breakfast cooked over a fire, a high tea mid-afternoon, or a restaurant quality supper cooked up in a bush kitchen with no mod-cons. Luxury camps and lodges certainly match Ana’s mother’s motto that ‘it has to be better’.

article by Richard Smith

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