It was her maiden time to have such a big concert in Africa but she set a record never that will probably take ages to break. The ‘walk that talk’ 25 year old singer performed in Johannesburg on 13th October 2013, entertaining more than 67,000 fans. She was the youngest female artist to play a sold out show at FnBthe stadium.
She had performed in South Africa seven years ago while still a newbie during Jay Z’s Rock Tha Block Tour. She went on to be one of the most powerful celebrities in the world (according to Forbes, between May 2011 and May 2012 she earned 53 million USD). She has had an incredible 8-year career, characterized by collaborations with the industry’s most accomplished like Eminem, Jay Z, Sean Paul, Coldplay, Akon, David Guetta and much more.
What really touched me is her amazing love for Africa. She posted instagram photos of her cuddling a lion cub and playing with a giraffe in the sunshine. She used the hashtag Mama AfRIHca on her images. Having had over 2.9 billion You Tube views, signed endorsement deals with Nike, Gucci, CoverGirl, Nivea and Clinique, with over 29 million Twitter followers she really brought Africa to the world in a lighter tone.
Africa has been known for long to be a dark continent, with jungles and savages who fight each other, with writers and film makers who work on art reflecting our negatives and desperation and a dragging economy-which has luckily been on the rise in the past few years. It is time to make the continent stand out much more.
‘For Africa to me, is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrives at his present state.”
-Maya Angelou, American Author and Poet.
Maya’s positive thought of Africa reminds me of the fact that we have come a long way since colonization as a continent, struggling with ups and downs, climate change and diseases like Malaria which is a global concern. She says that we have what it takes to be the global hub for inspiration…the place for attractive investments, the next Silicon Valley and much more.
With the One Young World Summit in Johannesburg being a success one of the things that I learnt is that there was a really great emphasis on the need to invest in youth who have the right talent for a specific area. Kate Robertson, the co-global president of Havas Worldwide, an advertising, digital communications agency said:
“It is wrong to assume that the only good young intake is an Oxbridge graduate. There are loads of youngsters who are not in employment who have got all the digital skills and nous and instinct that a business needs-and every single business needs that kid. No economy in the world can avoid ignoring that kind of human capital.”
That was quite impressive. It really echoes my sentiments. Ririwas just a regular island girl who worked in a restaurant, and as a Tourism Management student I understand the challenges that she might have faced. She would probably face a customer with sexual interest in her, a rude woman who would spoil her day or get burnt in the hurry to serve a customer. However, when her talent was noted by music producer Evan Rogers who was on an island vacation in Barbados, she rose to be one of the most successful entertainers of the past decade, comparable to Madonna, Janet Jackson, Maria Carey and Whitney Houston.
What she really inspires me with is her subtle charm, her way of living her life, her go-getting character no matter what critics say. There is this positive side that I always see. I must admit that sometime back last year I dreamt spending time with her on a wooden floor in a portico just sharing life moments and inspirational talk and I was surprised by the instagram photos that depicted a similar environmental setting.
The ‘We found love’ singer has gone through much in her life story just like Demi Lovato who is a to-be author like Emma Watson aspires too (which are future stories on this blog), including beatings from her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown and associated partying hard acts so as to get solace…but she has proved to be strong by doing what she does best; entertaining.
She may not be the best example of inspiration for many, but the girl who lived in an island in a third world just like Kenya is a muse to endorse. Just like actress-humanitarian Angelina Jolie says that you do not get intimidated by what others thing of you, I suggest that we strive harder in our respective fields by doing what we do best which translates into a collectively accomplished continent.