For the first time, in as long as I can remember, January 1st was not spent scribbling plans in a notebook. Up till about three years ago, I would also spend time on the 1st unfollowing everyone on Twitter and, for the first quarter of the year, I would follow people on the basis of their timelines and whether this appealed to me. I don’t do this anymore because, honestly, I no longer spend much time scrolling on Twitter.
It is an interesting place to be, being able to focus on what’s in front of me and not wasting energy on what is down the line which, in truth, I have zero control over. When I started riding a motorcycle, I wrote about how I learnt more about being mindful on a motorcycle than I did from all the books I had read up to that point.
The pandemic re-emphasised how all I can really do is focus on the present, if I want both the peace of mind and energy to tackle all the obstacles that crop up. It’s the ‘one-foot-in-front-of-the-other approach’ to line. When in darkness, look down, keep putting one foot in front of the other and, eventually, when you look up, you would have made it out.
The first newsletter for 2023. Here are seven things:
I spend a significant amount of my time reading but never get round to sharing thoughts on the books I review. Put together a short post on some of the books I read in 2022.
I also had the opportunity to chat about one of the books that moved me immensely on Radio 702, Michael K. Williams’ Scenes From My Life. Reading the book, I would have loved to have spent time in his company and, after sharing that I was reading the book both on radio and on social media, I found he and I had a couple of common friends.
There is an element of bias, but an album I have been enjoying is my friend and brother Bayku’s Warrior King. It is a little weird being part of the manifestation of something (from a distance) and then seeing it out as an entity with its own life.
My last podcast for 2022 was with Ken Kweku Nimo, a Ghanaian researcher, brand strategist and author.
Representation and diversity are important and have an impact that goes beyond what is top of mind as can be seen in Chidiebere Ibe is changing narratives with his anatomical illustrations focusing on Black skin.
Raising children brings with it constant self-doubt. Am I doing the right things? Am I too overbearing? Am I not protective enough? How much technology is the right amount? How do I counter or complement their influences? On and on, the questions go … Family Passages: Each new generation learns from its elders. But familial voices now compete for influence with a chorus of urgent others
“We must not be seduced into avoiding the question of whether industrialization is really the path to progress….” I am all for us questioning and reimagining from an African perspective, which Wandia Njoya does really well in Let’s Dump Industrialisation and Invent a Different Economic Model.
That’s it for today. If you enjoy receiving the Zebra Culture By Kojo Baffoe newsletter but are not subscribed, please do subscribe.
I would also appreciate it if you shared with a friend who might also like it.
I welcome comments, thoughts, etc. A big thank you to those of you who have sent me messages. I am looking to use Substack Chat a lot more this year, which I find a great tool for interaction and discussion.
And if you would like a copy of my book Listen To Your Footsteps, it is widely available online and in bookshops (primarily in South Africa but also on Barnes & Noble and Amazon) both in digital and physical form.
Thank you for the newsletters and sharing some of the one can relate to I often just go through that deletion thing as well a day after my birthday as I regards that the new year😂😂and happy 2023 to you and the family and all the best.
The pandemic did however bring about a shift on focusing on the now , the things that can be handled and yeah that we do not have control as we thought we may have over a lot of things.
Hadn’t been reading in a few years one thing that has inspired me back to that has been some of the books you’ve quoted and recommended but also realising how I miss that journey of reading a book is amazing.
Can’t wait for the next newsletter 🙏🏻