“From the ashes rises a phoenix, one who no longer allows the world to tell them what they can and cannot be” – Mavis, 2019
The book Born a Crime is written by Trevor Noah, a South African comedian who did something so profound that I, as a serial reader, have never come across in my 16 years of reading. He took my story, the story of an African child and made it real, tangible and relatable. His story is so authentically African, that the majority of the time I was astonished at how similar the childhood of African children is. The statements his mother made were ones I heard my mother make. The fact that his favourite breakfast meal when at the village was bread dipped in tea. He, who has gone on to become the world’s 4th highest-paid comedian, is born of African soil. I read the book with true respect for the man who today is the host of the Daily Show, with not only admiration but relatability. The book showed me that I, as an African child can dare dream, because if he came from sitting on the corner of his street for three years doing nothing with his life and went on to make a name for himself on an international stage, then surely, I, can too.
The thing about inspiration is that it is in our everyday lives, we just need to decide to open our eyes to see it. It too is completely reliant on us as to whether we will take the inspiration and do something with it that propels us forward in our lives, or let it linger in the bosom of our heart and never bear fruition. The choice remains utterly yours. Which is why when I came across a post of a fellow Queens Young Leader recipient by the name Kennedy, I knew that I needed to take the inspiration, and have it become tangible in my day-to-day life. Kennedy Ekezie is a 20-year-old Nigerian who is currently touring the United States speaking on Youth Pan Africanism. His tour goes to Harvard, Princeton and New York University. He, a child of the African soil, is going to Ivy League universities to speak on the matters that weigh on his heart. I admire it because he decided to take up space and do the things he deems possible. Even in his hesitation and what I presume would be self-doubt following his decision to embark on this journey, he soldiered on and decided he shall, he will, and he can.
How many times do we stop ourselves before we even begin? How many times do we assume failure, before failure is even an option? Rejection and failure are only possible with action. When one receives NO’s at every turn, it simply means you are moving and trying. It is in trying that you will find the door intended for you.
Your journey will be different because you are unique in your own right. We hear statements such as these so often it starts to feel repetitive, but what if you believed it? What if when you hear that you are unique, you believe it and start acting the part? What if you dared try step out of your comfort zone and do the things you fear most? What if you actually tried?
Come back next week as we uncover – the year of NO. *Mavis Braga Elias is a Civil Engineer by qualification and a Marketing Officer by profession. A philanthropist of heart and founder of the EM Love Foundation. She won the Vivid Philanthropist award in 2015 and the Queens Leaders Awards 2018. Catch up with Mavis:
Twitter – @maviselias; Instagram – @maviselias; Facebook – fb.me/mavis.braga
2019-10-02 07:37:53 | 11 months ago