Last week, I wrote the post, It Matters, Even When We Think It Does Not. There, I addressed the importance of continuing our respective work for and on the Africa continent even if we do not think it matters, and especially when we are not acknowledged for it. In the post, I shared my experience with Nigerian skincare owner, Sade, who only heard of the impact of her work on my friend, Bee, some 20+ years later.
Sade and Bee's story illustrates the point that many times, we do not receive the acknowledgement we need early on, and perhaps when we need it most. Yet, the absence of validation does not mitigate the fact that someone has seen and/or benefited from the work. Often times, we need our own work the most but way too many of us forget this, and quit too soon because no one acknowledges or validates our work. We believe, too quickly, that "it" doesn't matter.
But I think it does, the work always does. Especially if it is an embodiment of who we truly are and is a reflection of our genuine interests.
In fact, although I am still very early in my journey, only recently finding clarity on what I want to do and where I want to be, and just gaining the courage to pursue it wholeheartedly, I am constantly reminded that the effort and courage I show matters. An experience this week made that really clear.
I decided to write and share a review about an event, really, a party, called Ivory In The City on Instagram. The review was done in jest at my best friend. We had talked about the party for some time that evening, and I told her that I would actually write a public review of the event and share it with the organizers. We laughed about it because I wasn't serious. Who writes an intellectual review about a party? Who reads them? Who cares?
I thought about all of these things. Then, I still shared the following the next day:
Had the opportunity to celebrate the Ubawike twin's bday at #ivoryinthecity2k17, one of largest gatherings of young Africans in the Diaspora in NYC this summer. I told @ladyada__ __that I will write a thorough review of the event so here it is (critiques aside tho 😏). Yes, I had my business 👓 on from my vantage point if you know where I was at 😂.
1. Shoutout to the BigFive for this event. It was really a celebration of the African Diaspora and it was cool to see so many young African people (up to 1000?) come out from NYC, DC, and surroundings for the event.
2. I don't know how many ways the event organizers are sharing the💰but I see so much business opportunity in Afro related events and functions for young Diasporans. I only see this trend growing from here. When I tell you that growing up in America, we used to be ashamed to be African or do African things! Now look at us! Thank God!
3. The amount of people on line for VIP at some point exceeded the line for regular entry. If this means that young Africans in the Diaspora have money to spend, then we should harness that wealth for different equally exciting things.
4. It is really clear that the internet has brought the continent and Diaspora so much closer together. The crowd knew all the latest African songs. Whatever is hot in Ghana is also here (ie. TheShattaMovment). Young Africans are & want to stay connected!
5. Finally, Afrobeats is having a hay day in America and around the world and it is important that African artists and young Africans are the first to market & capitalize on it. This was a good showcase of that. The DJs played Afrobeats throughout and other music intermittently, unlike the reverse, which was once the only case.
Doubt I will make it to any such party for the rest of my life but I will gladly support + do any business in this area. #ivoryinthecity2k17 was a good one to see after being in Ghana for so long. Contact me BigFive 😁✊🏿🇬🇭! Let me write on the importance of this for you to put in the history books.
Later that day, a friend tagged me to the response below:
Of course, once we find our true passions and gifts, it becomes less a matter of what the world thinks, and more of a relentless pursuit towards expressing those gifts at the highest order. But it helps to hear that the work is meaningful, and has helped someone along their way. In my case, I had no idea that the event organizers, ie. members of the Big Five, would see and appreciate my post. I could have never anticipated their reception to it; that it would mean so much to them.
But what if I never saw this post? Would I still continue to write? Would it matter?
I say it does. Irrespective of when you get your acknowledgment, it always will.