Friday, August 18, 2006

Evolution











Finally ready to go back to Nairobi after a few months of strategy in Vancouver. And whilst away the 8 Kenyans kept it going without me. It didn't fall apart, nobody quit and the rent is still being paid - in fact they have even hired someone new! If I died today my dream would live on - it's finally ready. Looking at our new identity it feels so right now after all these days of wondering what exactly it is I am trying to build to the help the most kids possible in Africa. After all the questions that people have asked me and all the worries or naysayers too - that Africa is not worth investing in - that I'm a fool to use my own money which always surprises me. If I wasn't prepared to risk my own capital how could I ever expect anyone else to? The only people I have ever met who care as much as I do about kids in Africa is the kids themselves and they come at me like a freight train. They will build this. They have the most to gain from our growth.

'To win' - SHINDA - exactly what the kids need to believe is possible. There are 900 million people who live in Africa and half of them are kids. What will they think about this business designed especially for them as a tool to build their own futures on their own terms? What will they do when I hand them our card and ask "Would you like to learn how to take pictures? or design a funky t-shirt that expresses your culture?"

When I first told people in 2002 about my dream of building this business many people stared at me with their mouth open. Some even said things like, "Can you find people there you can trust?" or "Can people speak English?" and even still in the smallest of subtle ways people are still so bombarded by the mess of Africa they literally do not believe that so many things are working and working well. So I am thankful, or SHUKRANI for all the media hype and movie stars and lobbying by those people with influence who have chosen to talk about Africa in this past year - who have raised awareness so at least the rest of us can begin again and learn a more truthful history of what happened to Africa in the first place. So at least we can understand.

This is evolution. There used to be a time when women in our country weren't allowed to vote and I know one day even under the darkest most repressed regime, women will flourish one day as they have in Canada. Because each one of us does have the social power to affect change if we are willing to be as Ghandi said, 'the thing we want to see in the world'. That's what it comes down - you have to be thing yourself - you have to live it, and fight for it, and sacrifice and lobby and believe and love otherwise you are putting this burden on someone else. It's discouraging and enraging but it is possible, it is so very very possible.

Na Heshima watoto. Shukrani rafiki - pole pole, salaam.

YVR-LHR-NBO - Tuesday September 12, the week I become 38. Can't wait to feel the secret handshake once again.

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