Today I am feeling many things. But mostly I feel grateful.
I feel grateful that once again, in my lifetime I am witnessing an historic event. There have been so many for my generation - each one different, some of them harrowing, others inspiring, but each one holding a measure of that “the-world-will-never-be-the-same-again” quality that we call history.
I have seen my country come to independence from colonial rule - stood next to my father as a child to watch one flag go up and another come down as our country changed its name.
I have been in the first group of students at my school to use computers at a time when no one had ever heard of Microsoft.
I have survived a genocide and a coup that was not a coup.
I have shed tears and held my breath as black women around the world have broken barriers, in sports, science, business, music, and demonstrated without question that this thing we call #blackgirlmagic is real.
It is a privilege to bear witness - even when the events are tough. You remain forever changed, and how you react to that change is what, in many ways determines your destiny.
In this season we have borne witness to a global pandemic and its effects on the world. We have borne witness to how countries and individuals have reacted, and had the opportunity to, in our own small way, be apart of the voices that impact the trajectory of global events: to decide whether we will be fear-mongers, spreading alarm, despondency cultural division and underscoring class divisions; or to take on the role of voices of reason, asking the right questions and making peace in our time.
To have been part of an MBA programme at ALU at this time has been challenging and exciting. From the first announcement that classes would be held online and not in person as we have been accustomed to doing every 3 or 4 months, to the actual experience of bonding over knowledge over the internet. There has been nothing like this in our past. And so there are no manuals to tell us how to do it best. But as a learning generation we are ready and willing to leap into the unknown and try new things, to fail and to try again anew.
I am so grateful to have been a part of this particular piece of history too. To have added my voice to the conversations, discussions arguments and yes, even fights around all of this. I am appreciating the complexities of life in the 21st century, and mindful fo how my one voice can change the tone of a conversation that is happening in our small groups, in our communities and in our world.
What a time to be alive. And I don’t use the word “alive” lightly.
I am grateful to be alive to witness it all.
I write to lend you my courage, to help you find the words for the things you feel, but are not yet ready to say. I write to tell the stories of our time, and to edify those whose stories I tell and their audiences.