This year has been a seminal one for me. I started this blog on a whim and had no idea just how much of an impact it would have. I wrote what I thought about various cultural and news stories. Then I began to want to learn more about how the gap between the privileges I have whilst here in the UK and the reality of living in a country like Zambia, were the majority of people live below the poverty line, could be bridged. I wanted to do more than just write about poverty.
I watched and wrote about the documentary The Peoples Supermarket. It seemed like such a great idea! At the end of that post, I called on someone,anyone, to take up the mantle. To do more than just talk about social ills. One of my Facebook friends turned my appeal on its head. Why didn't I do it?
Many people question the on line community.They say it's not real and somehow takes away from our physical relationships. This blog has taught me just how wrong that assumption is. People that I have met and talked to on line have had a profound impact on my life. They have given me the impetus to try to do what I've always wanted, to have a positive impact on peoples lives.
Social enterprise was now on my radar, combine this with my love for African fashion, prints in particular and an idea was born.
Cut a long story short...I am now selling on behalf organisations that work with women in Africa to teach them crafts and the running of their own businesses. In addition, I am working on my own product line of goods made with African fabrics.
Just like the blog, I am learning as I go along, refining my ideas, but what's clear is the BIG idea. It's not 'The Zambian Peoples Supermarket' but I would like to eventually run my own social enterprise. To establish a small scale manufacturing base in Zambia producing the kinds of goods that I am currently selling here.
As I write this I have just read this tweet, it epitomises exactly how I feel now;
african_dream African Dream™
its amazing how when you doubt yourself and question the objectives of what you are doing, something good comes up...
I don't know where this journey will take me and I have had a lot of doubts (mostly revolving around getting a 'real' job) but whenever I question myself someone sends a positive email or I read something that reaffirms my belief in solutions for African problems that start with us.
Yesterday was the opening of The Punch Gallery in the centre of Nottingham. I thought I'd share these pictures with you. You can find out more about us here.
Last month while I was selling at a festival a Ghanaian man and his wife came to my stand. He was so excited and proud of what I was doing. That is what Africans deserve. To be proud of our continent and what we can give to the world!