Summary of 2016
2016 has been a good year for Foluke’s African Skies. In January I migrated my blog Speaker in a Blouse from Blogspot to WordPress. Foluke’s African Skies has had views in the thousands, from nearly 80 countries around the world, from every continent except Antarctica (Eri mi wu o!). When I started blogging, my main intention was to find a place to save my ideas and engage in free-writing. I really did not expect many people to read what I wrote. The responses have greatly surpassed my expectations. I have been and continue to be overwhelmed by the response(s) I have received. So everyone, thank you, thank you, thank you!
In 2016, I have written close to 100 new blog posts on subjects close to my heart – Africa, athletics, law, Africa, film, Africa, law, pseudo-poetry, music, Africa. My ranting has been indulged, my discussions engaged with, my reminiscences responded to, and my poetry read and commented upon! In many ways 2016 as a year has been quite messed up, but remember, we are the ones who make life better. We really cannot afford to personify a unit of time and abdicate responsibility for the deeds of humanity. We get out of life what we put into it. In this world, we reap what we sow. I know that even though 2016 the year has disappointed us, as long as we do not disappoint ourselves, 2017 can be better. It is people that make the years what they are, not the mere passage of time.
A message to all bloggers – current and aspiring, of Africa and not of Africa
(A message for me as well!)
All through the year I have read and heard people talk about how bad 2016 has been. I have been called an optimist (in a positive and a negative way), because I have hope in change, because I have dreams of possibility. But my hope is not blind optimism. I believe in the power of one person, the power of one dream, the power of one light in the darkness. Dear Reader, I am asking you to be that light in the most probable darkness of 2017. Human hate may seem to be gaining a foothold, but love will always overwhelm hate, as long as we do not give in to indifference. The noise of voices raised in hatred may seem to be all you hear, but add your voice to the multitude, even if no one joins you. Silence is never an option. Silence is unacceptable.
So let us do what we can. We know that getting alternative views out there is not easy. Publishers control knowledge. Blog if you can. Blogging is cheap and easy-ish. So blog.
Speak truth. Speak YOUR truth. Truth will always be true and your truth will always be yours. Keep on speaking into the darkness. Do not give up. Even when it seems impossible. Impossible is a word used to define a problem to which a solution has not yet been found. You are the solution to a problem. In the fullness of time, the tendrils of the light will return to you manifold and multiply. Be strong, be courageous, be persistent. Be present. Speak.
Be proactive. If our emotional energy is spent reacting to hatred, reacting to intolerance, reacting to ignorance and reacting to malevolence, then that hatred controls us. Hate should never have any sort of power over us. Only love. Always love. So love, but love proactively. Do not give in to inaction. Do not wait for the disaster that threatens. Act. Now.
Look inward. The overwhelming levels of hostility we see may be intimidating. But really, that is not what we are concerned with. We are concerned with our purpose. Our purpose should be to be a better version of ourselves and use that better version to better the world. If you feel that the purpose of your life is to do good, then do it, while the light lasts, for 2016 has shown us that candles are quickly extinguished, flames die early, leaving us with smoke in our eyes. So do good, while the light of 2017 lasts.
You can only write one blog at a time. You can only do one good thing at a time. You can only say one positive thing at a time. You can only take one step at a time. Do not be overwhelmed. 2017 is ours – one step at a time, one day at a time. 2017 is ours, while the light lasts.