Dear Africana Woman,
We are rolling to the end of the year so fast and I don’t know about you but it seems to be a high speed train. So I have been thinking about whether I will write you a letter during the last two weeks of the year. I am leaning towards No. Hahaha. Truth is I will Not be having a huge Christmas celebration. I am going to wrapped up in a blanket, listening to the torrents of rain outside and I will be reading a book. Oooo I will share with you the books I found for the holiday. Anyway, my point is I am taking a break not because I am busy. I am taking a break because I am practicing self love and I will relish in the quiet.
I have a couple stories for you. It is my reflections of 2020 in short stories. Here goes:
THE 'I LOVE YOU' CHALLENGE
Around March 2020 Africana Woman was born. One of the first things I spoke about is how as an African community saying 'I love you' was not common place in our families. Therefore, I went on my instagram account and launched an I Love You Challenge, which was basically asking people to record a video that says I love you to their parents and posting on social media. Like, their parents did not have to even know about the video. I tagged a couple of people and thought oooo this will be great.
No One participated. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nobody!
Yoh! I was touched. I thought well Africana Woman has died before it has even started. I thought no one is interested in this thing called Africana Woman. Just let it go. This lady that I had challenged, even called me up to say how impossible that challenge was. She had never said I love you to her parents let alone heard it, and it would be so awkward. I said to her, “This Challenge is not for them it is for you. Later when you have intimate relationships, children and you find yourself struggling to express emotions it is because of these kinds of blocks.” She insisted that it would just come so naturally to do when she did have her kids. Anyway, we had a little chat and left it at that.
Again, I was left doubting whether or not to do this Africana Woman thing. I decided to pick up my bruised ego and keep pushing it out.
8 months later, I receive a voice message from the lady I spoke to in March. She said, “Have you seen my status today?” (Which I hadn’t yet had time to go through) but her tone was so confident, I was like oh I better check this out. Stopped the voice note and went to check. She had posted pictures of her parents and one of her Dad. It was his birthday and the message was sweet and said “I Love You”. Went back to the recording. She said, she is now able to say I love you to her parents and post about it, she is more mindful about expressing her affection with those close to her. Saying those words I love you used to be so heavy but now she is able to say it with ease. She said thank you for challenging me and encouraging me.
Chile. I was in an office, batting back tears. I kept thinking I cannot be crying first thing in the morning.
We are so used to instant gratification in this world. We want instant fame. We want to go viral. We want to see results immediately. But sometimes we are called to serve the ONE. God says I just need you to be obedient, plant the seed and serve the ONE. From that ONE generations to come have been set free and will have a completely different experience. Chin up. You may not see the results now but He knows.
THE YEAR OF 90 WEDDING CAKES
I started out the year with the goal of making 90 wedding cakes. I am not joking. I was well on the way. I guess my goal was to bring joy to 90 couples right. Anyway, Covid-19 swotted the goal to the side like a fly. Smack. But God took over. Here is what I have done instead:
The Africana Woman blog goes out each week, on average about 30 souls read the posts.
The Africana Woman Podcast the last I checked had about 400 downloads
A Taste of Culture series has had 17 interviews on Instagram Live viewed 1841 times
Africa The Masterplan hosted three international panel conversations on Mental Health for both Men & Women, Finances and a conversation on Sex Sexuality & Pleasure in African Culture. We reached about 50 souls during the conversations, and have since posted the conversations on YouTube.
The KNOW your Purpose Mindfulness challenge has run twice with 14 participants in total
The KNOW your Purpose Retreat had 3 participants
Good Morning Beautiful pop-up podcast had 93 listeners for the 30 days.
The Audit Your Business Workshop had 30 participants
The Africana Woman Visionaries has 3 members so far
Do you realise that I began the year with the goal of making an impact on 180 people or rather 90 African Women. And God was like, "Gurl Please" with a little laugh. Through Africana Woman, since March 2020, during a pandemic, we have touched 2, 464 lives across the globe.
A lot of people think I am crazy for doing this Africana Woman thing. Some think I am on some popularity hunger craze. Others just do not understand why I would do it at all.
You know what might help you understand is if I share some of the feedback I have received over the year:
“I had lost hope, but this restored it.”
“I was skeptical about the programme but it has such valuable information, that I had to tell others”
“It is nice to know that someone cares about me”
“I am not crazy. I went through certain things and no one believed me. But watching that video validated my experience.”
“This gave me courage. For years I was lost. But this made me look at life differently”
Seriously, I am the walking contradiction. In June 2019 I was paralysed by anxiety attacks, fear and depression. In 2020 I am helping women all over the world find new hope, find community. I am declaring no matter where you are in your journey, no matter how old you are, you can start afresh. You can give yourself permission to live the life that you always desired.
I am not perfect. In fact, I seek help from therapy, coaches, my sisters and friends. Don’t get it twisted this year has been difficult. And I have cried many tears. Through it all I am just working to be the best version of myself every day. It takes time, but every day is better than the next. So I am enjoying the journey of becoming, who I have always meant to be. I Am Me.
I am at peace.
So my darling there is so much that we have planned for 2021. I am not going to get into the details right now. We will talk about it next year. I want you to have a fantastic holiday season. Those of you that do believe in Jesus, Merry Christmas my darling. As someone mentioned a couple weeks ago, let’s put the Christ back into Christmas. Enjoy your family, get some rest. Take time for you. And just incase you don’t hear from me in the next two weeks, know this I love you, God loves you. Thank you for hanging out with me this 2020. Have a fantastic New Year. You can always have a conversation with me over on instagram @Chulu_byDesign. If you want to join the conversations with the Africana community, please do join us in the Africana Woman Tribe for conversations around your Lifestyle or the Africana Woman Visionaries for more business orientated conversations (we are visionaries after all 😉). You can listen to the Africana Woman Podcast right here. Okay my love, I appreciate it if you can share this with a friend or two or three lol. Remember, my desire is that you love yourself flaws n all and attract the life that you truly desire.
Love Love Love you,
PS. Wait I said I would share my holiday reading selection:
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Yes I read children's fantasy)
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi