SERIES 3: FOR US BY US
YEAH! Im back! I slacked off and posted this late but it's mostly because I wanted to find the right way of opening the conversation on this issue.
For so long I didn't feel the need or urgency to support other young black creatives. I always found really good excuses, the best one being "I'm too broke for this" and the worst one being "they're already getting enough support and my input wouldn't change much."
It hit me one day when I went to a Kolinga event early this year, that my excuses weren't good enough. At the event they were legit playing 60s-90s music from East to West to South to North Africa. The saddest thing is that; I could count the amount of Africans who were at that event on my hands. It was disappointing that these events are celebrating our music, our culture and we are nowhere to be found.
Speaking from my experience, there's an issue of not only self-doubt but doubting other young people and their work. A lot of us would rather wait to hear the validation from other people, in order for us to start supporting. Things like hearing "oh wow this person's art, event, music and/or store is cool" from our friends.
These new hashtags (#blackgirlmagic #melanin and others) were a form of that validation. I'm so glad that these hashtags exist but again it's questionable that for some of us needed hashtags to show us that there's a need for supporting black creatives.
This issue goes deeper than that, I've caught myself and my friends talk about the biggest issues with Africa and the reason why it hasn't progressed at a fast rate. Besides issues that come with; colonisation, war, corruption and all the other terrible things, there's also a pressing issue of the fact that Africans' aren't always happy to see other people win or progress. At times, we are so busy trying to compete with one another, that we forget to recognise people's wins and support and congratulate them on that.
This narrative is now starting to change and change starts from within. The change is well deserved, we all need to continue to support one another. "Supporting" doesn't necessarily demand a monetary exchange, but it can be something as simple as going out of your way to find out who these young creatives are and their stories.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on how we can continue to support one another, this includes supporting creatives in Africa and in the diaspora too. I truly believe that this support might be able to start a powerful domino effect that can help Africa progress faster than we could've ever imagine. Therefore, we are stronger together and we can win together.
Let's have a meaningful conversation about this, share your thoughts on why it took so long for us to support one another or is this not even the reality of things...