A friend once said to me, ‘you need to take an interest in people’, which is a curious thing to say especially as I make my livelihood asking people questions.
I want to know what they are interested in, what they are passionate about and what influences made them the way they are. People often don’t know the precise answer to the third part. Some would say their mother, a teacher or mentor, or just the circumstances of life.
I believe that we are influenced by many things: intentional or unintentional, positive or negative, consciously or otherwise. This idea of what influences us to make the choices we do, and become who we are, will be featured in a series of interviews that I am conducting for ReAfrica.
ReAfrica is an online platform and magazine telling the stories of interesting Africans across the world and attempting to reverse the ‘single story’ rhetoric of Africa and its people. So far I have met vibrant and passionate people whose lives have been influenced by a variety of sources, made them who they are and given them stories that would in turn influence us consciously, positively and intentionally. Most importantly, I think they would motivate us to be better.
One of my favourite quotes by Henry David Thoreau is this
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
This clearly speaks to me of the importance of giving ourselves the gift of seeing, thinking and choosing differently in order to enrich our lives. And in so doing, the lives of others.
Check out the ‘Interesting People’ series on ReAfrica, starting this September and be inspired.