The last week has been an interesting week for me. I have spent the last two years working on this project and finally seeing it come together … well to be honest, I didn’t appreciate it until the last minute. You spend so much time working on something, being one of the people behind the scenes, putting out fires, trying to get your point across, accommodating views that you don’t really agree with, it is in essence a thankless job. But I wouldn’t have traded it for the job that would have had my name in the headlines, because I do what I do because I love it, and I’m good at it. Maybe I’m also not really the person who likes being the center of attention. Sometimes I do get frustrated that people have no idea who I am, or what I do, and treat me like some insignificant person. Then I realise that it’s always more important to focus on the positive and knowing my end-goal.
Even when I worked at MTV, I was never the one to be at the parties, trying to meet the celebrities, I was in the office trying to get to the next level on my career trajectory. And maybe it’s my age and experience, but I was from the school that only you can be responsible for your own opportunities, no one was going to do it for you, but hard-work, luck and your social networks could take you wherever you wanted to go. Doing the opposite could also have the opposite effect, but only you can make that decision for yourself. This last week showed me that not everyone feels that way.
This last week I have met some people who have had the most wonderful opportunity, it wasn’t all roses, there were some unforseen thorns in this opportunity, but rather than turning the lemons into lemonade, they focussed on the lemons in their hands, without a clue of what to do with them. I found myself getting mad at first, and then offering my words of wisdom, but hold on, who am I? Their fairy Godmother?
I do find myself often in this situation giving people advice – probably because of my beliefs (stated above) and also the fact that I do think we should be helping bring each other up – the pie is big enough for all of us, no need to have crabs in a barrel syndrome. However, at some point I did get a bit irritated, because these people had come to me with some disrespect (in my opinion), yet I swallowed it and was the bigger person. In my mind, I’ve made up my mind about those people, and while I won’t share it, I know where I stand with it. Never underestimate the power of your social capital.
But on a good note, I made some great connections. Again, I focused on where I want to see my career and the things I believe in, and I met some really talented amazing people. We talked and we share similar beliefs for the future of creatives in Africa. I’m looking forward to finally working with them on some of my Zambia projects. Watch this space!