This morning I woke up being thankful for the amazing weekend I had. I had the most incredible pleasure to be at the Oxford Africa Conference, an exciting conference that brings together Africans in and out of the Diaspora, to discuss issues relevant to the African continent. This year the theme was on African development and ‘Africa rising’.
I am so appreciative to be part of the African Renaissance.
I sat in many sessions, eager to know about burning current issues regarding the motherland and its growth, and words are not enough to describe the sense of pride I felt within.
As a young African woman who has chosen to follow a non-traditional path (whatever that even means), I often feel out of place and when surrounded by fellow Africans, I feel as though my voice is less important than others who are doing ‘prestigious things’.
This past weekend I had the chance to experience what extraordinary means and how it can be in different forms. I felt in place. I am blessed enough to be part of a group of young and talented friends who see in our diversity a cause to celebrate; and together with them, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by greatness. Seeing people that looked like this cocoa skin of mine, with stories of overcoming challenges and a bright future ahead, made me understand that I am valid in all my forms and shape, and although I might have to crawl sometimes because of the hardships of life, it won’t be over until I win.
I have learnt that I am the only denominator for my future, the pioneer of my life, and that sharing my passion with others and caring for the growth and wellbeing of those around me, is the master key for success. I do not have to submit my will to others, but be firm in my choices.
Next week I will be away at a conference to represent my students’ union’s Black students’ community, and after a short holiday break with friends, I will be heading to another conference about Women in Leadership. Thinking about that 19 years old young woman that made her way through university some two years ago, never would I have thought to be under such an umbrella of grace, passion and compassion. It has been a long way, a difficult way, but a great way. In the words of the photographer Nana Kofi Acquah, I say “it’s a busy life. A blessed life. A life I will choose again”.
I am grateful to everyone who speaks with me daily, advises me when I am lost and encourage me when I feel like letting life go. I am because of you.
I am excited for the future.