We certainly live in an ever changing world. A world that has no apologies whatsoever for anyone caught up in its massive web. It is a beautiful world but with intricacies that often times amaze or even cripple many. Knowing how to navigate this world in one piece will need a deeper understanding of what makes for one’s peace. Simply put, not everything that passes our gaze is worth the attention we give it. We just need to know and mind what really matters, among the many things that come our way daily.

Thinking about this outbreak of Covid-19, who would ever know that face masks, sanitizers, hand washes etc will suddenly be more important commodities to buy than oil? Think about that for a moment. And what that tells me is that, things and their acquisition are quite subjective to what value they add and at each point in time they add such value. And that nothing really is important, if it doesn’t serve the safety and the protection of life.

Meaning that all that man loves and chases after is subject to time, season and opportunity.

Time and Season

There are ever new opportunities for every person on earth to make accurate choices concerning their lives and their purpose on earth. For instance, the outbreak of the Covid-19 almost in an instant, created a delineation between what is really important and what men count as important. I see it as a perfect opportunity for change, especially for Afrikans. Instantly, it became clear that one does not have to be in church on Sunday or mosque on Friday to be spiritual. One does not have to travel to supposed exotic places around the world to have a good time. One does not have to be in a huge office on the top floor of the tallest building in the city to make a difference.  Instantly, Afrika became beautiful for anyone to live in safety and working at home suddenly became a brave thing to do. Talk about how times change and how season makes us stop to think. But are we actually thinking?

The Pain of Lost opportunity

Recently, I posted an Afrikan Proverb on Facebook with an accompanying interpretation. Here is the post:


Below is the interpretation I used in the post:

“This simply means that, if you put all your energy in being in awe of how big and complex your problem is, you will not have the energy and the will power to think through the solution. Also, if you only consider how big your dreams are and then refuse to start small, you will never start.

Someone said opportunity comes dressed in problems or work. This is true. And because we live in Afrika, a society that has been programmed to be dependent on handouts and foreign aid for decades, we see our problems as issues that China and America need to help us solve, instead of as opportunities for our self-growth and our self-sustainability.

We as Afrikans must not continue this way. There are lots of Afrikans already creating platforms in various sectors to help the Afrikan narrative; we must help such to stand.

And for you who is still procrastinating concerning that which you have been given, thinking you are not good enough or you don’t have enough resources, stop being in awe of the problem and start using the little you have to create the solution.

Afrika belongs to us all, it is our duty to raise her up.”

Opportunity comes and goes all the time, but I think how we use it is directly connected to what we really see as important according to our general mindset. My wife showed me a Facebook conversation she was having with people in a thread about the Government of Kenya banning the importation of second hand clothes into the country. It was quite an interesting conversation and one which instantly shows you the mind some people have about themselves and their scope of understanding. While she was of the opinion that the ban on the importation of second and clothes was a good decision by the government, others almost picked up a fight with her, giving all manner of reasons why the ban was not good for the common man.  She was of the opinion that the ban gives Kenyans the much needed opportunity to create a strong and thriving textile and clothing industry through which Kenyans can be employed, coupled with the joy that comes with being a self-sustaining creative people. That Afrikan governments should be pushing for their people to have the best quality possible. The argument of the other guys may make some sense to the “common man” as they claim, but my thought in the entire matter was this, how can a people subject themselves to being called “common” after how many years of being an independent nation? The answer is simple, they simply reason along the lines of what matters the most to them, which is to supposedly wear “high quality” clothes imported from either the US or China and at cheaper prices.

I do not necessarily blame the guys that are rooting for the removal of the ban on second hand clothes, the situation on ground is always more complex like it is shown on TV or on the news. Having said that, my question still is this, when will Afrikans create a sustainable society, economy, commerce, livelihood etc that are devoid of the control of the white man? Because if you subject the whole second hand clothes business to health scrutiny, you will find out how much it is to even bring those clothes to Afrika not to talk of the risk of wearing them. Why? You can never tell what disease or sickness the last wearer had before it was shipped to Afrika. In the line of accurate thinking, that alone should make every Afrikan nation ban the importation of second hand clothes.

Can we really change

It is not a question begging for an answer, but a question whose answer is yes even before it was asked. Change is a certainty for anyone who really wants to make a difference so badly that he or she won’t sleep until it is done. Afrikans must live within the simplicity of what really matters and not just what anyone pushes on their tables. You may say that continuing the importation of second hand clothes looks like a simple life to live. But it simply shows you do not understand what it means to live simple. To live simple simply means to live within the original beauty, creative essence of yourself whether you have money or not. It is the ability to create what you need with the very resources you have. Simple!

About the author

Samuel Phillips

Samuel Phillips

A passionate photographer who is inspired by the Unseen to capture the seen.
A singer/songwriter and gospel music minister; a bruised reed I will not break, and a smoking flax I will not quench. A Messenger of Hope, The Hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast in God.

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