Celebrating a Year of Blogging
[Image credits: T-shirts – Definition Africa]
Wow, where has the time gone!!!! Today marks a year of researching, writing and posting as the blog turns one; and what a year it has been! Before I started the blog I was the person who dismissed blogging as a waste of valuable time… I take it back… the fact that I not only created, but have managed to maintain a blog for a year is a miracle in itself… I started the blog at a time of great change in my life and I guess the writing and researching became a cathartic process for me to make sense of what was happening.
Many factors influenced the decision to set up the blog, and it has evolved into so much more than I imagined it would be. It has been a challenging, highly rewarding process… and I still get so excited every time I discover a new brand. There are enough sources in the media eager to keep re-telling how hopeless Africa is, bypassing the fact that the continent is so much more than a homogeneous one-sided story. The whole issue of whether Africa can successfully re-brand it’s collective image is fuelling many a debate and is one that resonated with me; and when I read some downright offensive comments accompanying a thought-provoking article on the Economist online entitled – ‘Can “Africa” get a make-over?’, I rose to the challenge hoping to prove the naysayers wrong the only way I know how; visually and in the process work on finding ways to do better. I’m not turning a blind eye to reality; I know that seemingly insurmountable problems exist but for every disheartening story of famine, extreme poverty, conflict, exploitation and disaster unfolding across the continent so too are there stories of hope, togetherness, economic success, thriving business’ and endless creativity all leading towards sustainable change.
The winds of change are blowing; yes there is still work to be done, but great things are happening; you only have to look at the past decade of African fashion to see how far things have come, and if everyone with a vested interest did even a small bit, just think how much further along things could be. These t-shirts from Ugandan-based business, Def.i.ni.tion sum things up perfectly…
By living vicariously through the creativity of others my own creativity has been reignited; I now realise I had lost something and needed to get it back. Thank you to all who have read my musings, thank you to all who have got in touch, for your words of encouragement and introducing me to some wonderfully inspiring brands. Looking back on a year’s work I see a vibrant continent; one of individual countries each with their own take on creativity and innovation, and I can only anticipate what is still out there waiting to be discovered…
…you know what, creatively Africa is holding its own!