#10 – Reconnecting with old friends

There is something wonderful about reconnecting with old friends. Having recorded 100 episodes for http://www.1000africanvoices.com over the last 2 and a half years we decided to check in with some of the voices that left a long lasting impression on our listeners. The conversations have been graceful and hearty as we learn what the voices are up to a year and in some cases 2 years after being part of http://www.1000africanvoices.com.

With the show having been accessed in over 130 countries during this period I am proud to be a small part of this team and this village we’ve come to know and love. Africans are such wonderful, open minded and giving souls. I am glad I can call all the guests we have had, my brothers and sisters. Thank you for being part of this amazing journey.

Happiness is reconnecting with old friends and realizing how much time has passed. We have but one life. Ours is to live it fully.

#9 – Watching 100 Movies in 10 months

Today I made a commitment to myself to watch 100 movies in the next 10 months. 10 movies a month. Its hard to justify spending 12 thousand minutes on such a seemingly meaningless pursuit one could rationalize. I have in the past wanted to read the Top 100 most influential books of all time. With this commitment I didn’t get far. Most of us go through life wanting to chase some seemingly meaningless but somewhat deeply rewarding experience. In the month of February I have watched The Irishman, Equalizer 1, Equalizer 2, Flight and the Big Short. That’s 5 in one month. Not a bad start.

Most great achievers always say that the key to success is to have the ability to start something and more importantly to keep going. My countdown has started and its looking promising. By the way, from the aforementioned list, I would highly recommend the Irishman if you have 3h30min to spare. Its already a classic in my book.

Happiness is being able to commit to a goal and pursue it with gusto.

#8 – What the hell is game of thrones?

While at a flea market this morning, I ask one of the merchants if she had a Game of Thrones t-shirt that I could purchase. She looked at me inquisitively and said, game of what…? Needless to say this took me by surprise, after all Game of Thrones for about a decade was the biggest show on the planet. The problem with widely successful shows and their fans is that we think each one of the 7 billion inhabitants that call earth home would be familiar with Jon Snow and his wolves. It turns out not quite.

Happiness sometimes means being reminded that there’s more to life than TV shows, that somewhere in Africa and in other parts of the world people are going about their days without a care in the world about some made up Westeros.

#6 – my african Rainbow

There’s something magical about rainbows.Wikipedia defines a rainbow as a meteorological phenomenon that is┬ácaused┬áby reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. This definition does not do justice to what I saw this afternoon. Following late afternoon rain I looked up to see the most perfect rainbow I’ve seen in recent times.

I do recall growing up that this was a common phenomenon. In more recent years, I have very few memories of witnessing such a beautiful natural spectacle. I think a lot of their scarcity is as a result of me having an office from which I am meant to add value to the world economy. From time to time we get to look outside our modest office windows in bust metropolis. If you are lucky you can see beyond 100m. The outside has become somewhat of a luxury. As kids, being outside is all we knew. Under those circumstances, coming across a rainbow was an inevitable certainty.

Happiness is when you stumble across the most beautiful rainbow as a timely reminder of the beauty and colorfulness of life.

#5 – Behind suburban walls

My perimeter wall collapsed today. With city living, a collapsed wall brings with it a deep sense of anxiety. Suddenly my neighbours are able to peek into my suddenly ‘naked’ material possessions. After a few hours of this urban nakedness, you go through Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler’s famous 5 stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Once I had accepted my situation, I struck a conversation with a gentleman who was helping rebuild my wall. An hour later I had learned so much about business ranging from construction, auctions and energy conservation. Besides the cost, I’m glad that my wall fell as it led me to discover a lot more about life. A few months from now I won’t remember that on this day my wall collapsed, what I will remember is that through the fallen wall I was introduced to Garth.

Happiness is getting a free lesson on business from a total stranger expecting nothing in written.

#4 – Evil eye – audiobook spectacle

From time to time you come across a serendipitous discovery. Today, deep in Africa, I came across a 90 minute audiobook called Evil Eye written by Madhuri Shekar. Audiobooks tend to be anything between 5 and 10 hrs. Since I only had 2 hours on the road with an inexplicable need to complete something I came across Evil Eye. This is not a typical audiobook, its easier to think of it and consume it more as a play. The author found a beautiful way of telling a deep, supernatural story using tech. Although the ending is predictable, the experience of listening to the audio is so immersive that it actually doesnt matter.

Happiness is stumbling across such a wonderful piece of art. Well done to Madhuri for putting together Evil Eye. I give it 3.5*.

#3 – Cinnamon buns

Very few things are better than both the smell and the taste of cinnamon. For a small price you bite into a piece of absolute nirvana. Today, the end of my day culminated in sheer indulgence in cinnamon buns. What a pleasurable experience.

Happiness is a full sensory experience that comes with such delightful creations. I give Cinnamon buns 4*.

#2 – a cultural KALEIDOSCOPE called johannesburg

I live to see the day when Africa sheds its artificial boundaries and unites its people. I spent the day today in downtown Johannesburg looking for clothing material to make a wedding garment. To be clear, I am only going as an invited guest. When I was looking for a spot to park my car it was a gentleman from the Democratic Republic of Congo who came to my rescue with an available slot.

I then walked into a corridor of dresses, suits and skinny mannequins. In the end I had three items. One from a shop owned by a Nigerian entrepreneur, one from a store belonging to a Beninese (person from Benin) individual, Mohammed and lastly an item from a store owned by a French speaking male whose origins I couldn’t place.

This experience allowed me to take out my phone and google Benin. I learned that the country has 10 million inhabitants and that its capital is Porto-Novo.

Happiness in Africa means learning something new and rubbing shoulders with my brothers and sisters from across the continent.