This video, made by a handful of African students in Germany I’ve never met (except for the great Micha Ru I met online, thank you FB), is one of my favorite YouTube videos. I’m honored to have been included by them. I feel accountable to this generation of young Africans around the world who are looking to mentors and models to remind them that the future will be different.
When Dambisa Moyo writes Dead Aid, or I write about Jeff Sachs, we are not criticizing foreign aid or its advocates merely to be critical. What those who “care” don’t understand is the profound injuries to the pride and self-respect that results when our only role as Africans is to be pitied. The fact that these young Africans somewhere in Germany acknowledge me as worth mentioning in their paean to African achievement and self-worth gives me an immense sense of responsibility towards them and the future of Africa.
I know, I know, I know…. It’s been ages since I wrote here. I have been extremely busy with the next phase of my company, Tiossan. We went through a complete rebranding and also opened our first retail store in Hudson, NY. All of that happened as I continued doing something I really love doing: encourage and empower as many people around the world to follow their passions, especially as they relate to entrepreneurship and just “find out who they are , and do it on purpose” as per Dollie Parton. Freshly back from a an emotionally nerve wrecking time in Nigeria (in the good sense) and just recently Gabon where I spoke at the NewYork Forum Africa and the Dialogue For Action Africa (I had a talk each day for three days), preceded by talks at MIT and Yale. I am so passionate by what I do and sharing my vision for the world with the world that it always feels to the audience that I was born with this ability to speak in public, that it is effortless. But if only they knew that I cannot sleep for hours after I deliver a talk or speech. Indeed, when I speak, it all comes from my core, the depths of my guts and all that I am and who I am. I have this vision of a better world, a vision so pure and wonderful that I am in a complete state of ecstasy! I get such a rush of adrenaline pumping through my veins, I can hardly sleep for hours (sometimes days) after such interventions.
In any case, tonight I am back at my computer to write. Someone I know from Facebook sent me a comment saying that he intends to write a book on humans greatest fears and wanted to know if I had any words for him. This is a very compelling subject and I confess that I have often asked myself the question “What is my greatest fear?”.
I think it varies from person to person but I also think there is a common feeling most people think their biggest fears have to do with fear of personal failure of some kind: financial failure, professional failure, romantic failure, etc.