If you have a birthday and don’t question life, then I suppose you are in a very good space, in that place of “I have arrived.”
I, however, am yet to arrive. I don’t know if I am content, and by virtue of not being able to answer that question, I would think that no, not yet – I am not yet content.
Birthdays for me are always marked by moments of deep reflection and introspection, rather than celebration. If within those deep reflections I can find something to celebrate, then well… maybe I can joy a little, but I’m not really one for fanfare.
A question I have asked myself over and over again is, “How can we become a prosperous nation, a prosperous people?” We, not just I.
I say we because if I am prosperous at the expense of others, or if I am prosperous and still see my people suffering, I will not be at peace. I will not rest. In the body are many parts, individual parts, but one body. If I bang my head, or step on a thorn, I am wholly affected, not just my head or foot. While the we cry persists, I will be a part of the cry, and more importantly, I will be an active part of the solution.
The “we” that I speak about is not just Botswana where I was born – where many are unemployed and put faith in their leaders to make them prosperous; nor the nation of South Africa of which I have lived half my life in and witnessed the deep divisions, hurt and hatred that poverty (the lack of prosperity) has caused however. The we I speak about is the nation of Africa – the “said” dark continent that has experienced much pain. I hope for joy, peace and light. I don’t just hope, but make it my life’s mission to be a part of the revolution and revival that has long been spoken about by African leaders and Christian prophets. It is not a case of either or.
The “great awakening” is a spiritual revival/arising that will affect and effect (turn latent to kinetic) the economical and sociological revolution that Africa and the world has long been waiting for.
The fight Africa is fighting today is a fight to be prosperous. A fight to have, and to not be considered among the have nots. It is a desire to not struggle or suffer, a desire to live stress free, and a desire to not be inconsequential; but rather, to matter, to be known and noticed, to be loved and ultimately to live a life of significance – a life of purpose.
That fight a lot of the times leads to infighting, fighting with each other instead of challenging the problems. “I have to step on you, so that I can be higher; take from you, so that I can have; stab you in the back so I can run further.” Disunity is the deepest complex – a divided people working against each other, instead of with each other.
In conversations we Africans even applaud Caucasians, Arabs and more especially Indians for their ability to work together for a common prosperity. Why do we acknowledge, but fail to realize?
I personally have ventured for significance for as long as I can remember. I have never wanted to pass by life and not make notable impact in this world. I wanted to be known for something. In high school I focused on tennis instead of basketball and soccer so that I could get into the first team. I found significance in working in technical in the theatre, because I couldn’t act, sing or rap. I chose to be very good at being mischievous, because I wasn’t saintly enough to be prim, proper and prestigious. All I wanted was significance.
At 18 years old I decided I would never work for anybody because I realized early enough that the employed were never wealthy or influential, and that it was the creators who were wealthy and influential. Of course my quest was to be wealthy, or so I thought. It was actually a quest for realization of self-worth, cloaked by the desire for prosperity.
Life took a dramatic turn of events when I found myself working. I finished school and felt a call to join ministry (church) of which I quickly answered. I consoled my previous self by saying I was working for God, which I really was. I was fulfilled. My heart was in it and I found significance by impacting thousands of peoples lives. However as time went on, it slowly turned into a job, and at that moment where I found myself employed. I realized I was drifting away from my purpose of impact, influence, inspiration… and of-course with it prosperity.
If one is thinking about food, shelter or clothing (prosperity or lack of), then where does one get the time to think about purpose? If one has to work everyday to put a roof over his head without really giving their all, then the equation is broken. That, unfortunately, is where Africa finds itself. Having to work to get, instead of working to give; working to sustain and survive, instead of working to contribute and grow.
God did not intend for man to work to survive or just make it. Can I, can we get to a place where we can give our all, and fear not loss? That, I believe, is the real link between purpose and prosperity.
Can I fulfill my purpose such that I am prosperous enough to always make a giving?
Can I get to a place where there is no lack – no lack of purpose and no lack of resources. Where I know I will get what I need, when I need, from somebody who thinks the same way I think? A sharing, giving economy. No, not socialism or communism. There is no system I this world that can change the heart of a man.
Only the call of purpose will affect his heart, her heart.
Hear the call, and answer.
If you get to the bottom of this blog post, thank you for reading. I only hope it gives you and understanding of who I am and what I am about, so that we can work together with a common, united vision. I don’t need a happy birthday. If, however, one person makes a decision to start that blog, leave that job, start that business, then I have reason to celebrate. To celebrate you! A dreamer, a believer. Then my purpose would be fulfilled, then I would be prosperous as I would have given something that I have.
What do you have to give? Your time (money or skill)? Don’t wait till you turn 31 like I. Don’t wait till you turn 50 either.
Re-visit your childhood dreams, those business plans, those notebooks. Make a giving, and Be who you truly are.
Africa is waiting for you to give, so that we can all win.
Much love, peace and prosperity,
21 May, 2018.
Pic: My daughter Joy Ludo Magwape, practicing to take the throne.
“The love of money is the root of all evil.” — Selah