A tough couple of weeks with everything that’s been happening, through it all I was really silent especially on twitter, a lot of people sent me dm’s like “why are you so silent at this time? you’ve got an influential platform” “Joe you’re quiet now that we’re speaking on gender-based violence? Why?”… honestly, I’ve been going through a rough patch. Before all this happened, my laptop got taken from my car, I got involved in an accident, came out alive, fixed my car and got into another accident this weekend…
Aside from the gender-based violence, the attacks on foreign nationals were also at a peak, being Congolese and living in South Africa for the past 19 years, I’ve learned so much about the culture here, how to do things, how to connect and maintain those connections, so much that I consider this my second home.
I too would be very unhappy if I saw a non-South African influencing a different kind of culture here. I might not physically fight it but does condemning it and speaking against it make me xenophobic? Despite where my headspace has been, I felt very vulnerable even though I knew I wasn’t a part of the problem. It’s weird that an African can be labeled a foreigner in Africa.
A lot of the people I respect in this industry got called out for being abusers or sexual offenders, I’ve had to take so many steps back and just observe, I took things out of context and wondered, If I today had to make a mistake would the world label me by that mistake forever even after I’ve changed? Where does true forgiveness begin? Is it acknowledging that I was wrong? and proving that I’ve changed? Do I need to prove to everyone that I’ve changed? How do I do it?… I’ve come to hate the way the world thinks, so much that I could now be dragged and questioned for taking a mere picture with someone that a group of people dislikes or even greeting them in public.
All this took a toll on me and I remained silent about these topics, not because I didn’t have anything to say but because I know how social media works, so I chose my peace instead.
I kept putting out insightful tweets, kept creating good content for the brands under my belt and kept my energy positive. I’m in a transition of energies and spaces, my perspective and focus on the things I want to create seem sharper, I’ve finally figured out my next couple of moves and I’m putting them in motion for 2020. My self-awareness is better and I pay attention to what I consume in terms of content and people, for me; the value people add into my life ultimately decides if we stay cool or not. We know people how we know them.
This transition is about change, change in how I live, eat, think, believe. We often neglect the work we have to do on ourselves and wonder why the things we want to achieve fail, why the relationships we start and wish to maintain break, we’ve got to own our change, that’s the only way to truly understand why it’s happening and what it will bring. For now, I’m in that moment.