Is Africa at Halftime? Maybe that’s something to consider as we continue to celebrate Africa Month. Over the years, a lot has been said and done about our beloved continent. We are endowed with most of the precious natural resources in the world. I often brag to my pals Majuu (abroad) that we play golf all year round here. Being in the tropics ensures we have good weather throughout the year; the coldest we feel is when we remove ice cubes from the fridge.

Africans are colourful, friendly and hospitable for the most part. I particularly like the informal nature of life here. You bump into someone and sit by a roadside kiosk to catch up over a meal, that’s also prepared by the road side. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to Africa because it aligns with my preferred mode of life, simple and not too structured. I appreciate Africa more during my photo safaris. The Mara and other wild open spaces are just paradise in Africa.

But then iko shida. Why is it that we have heaven on earth but many Africans feel like it’s hell? Well, there could be a lot to say in that direction but I’m not an expert so I will leave that there.  Of course, a huge part of our problems is man-made. Men and women who came in as servant leaders then after some time were swept away by the trappings of power.  The servant in the leader disappeared soon after they assumed power.

Despite a lot of our fish (and we have a lot of that too) rotting from the head (in leadership terms), we have also suffered colonial hangovers for decades. We may be independent as African nations but mental colonialism or imposter syndrome still lingers. That leaves us vulnerable to manipulation by outsiders. We are slowly getting liberated in our thinking. We have been growing our democracies and ruling less by guns and more by the ballot. We have younger leaders calling out excesses and trying to infuse African pride in their people. May that momentum pick up speed as that is how Africa will rise, when we know our value and sit at the table to negotiate on our terms. It’s a positive restlessness that we are going through.

Through the halftime program, I confirmed that my life is meant to unfold on this continent. I deeply desire to help high-impact Africans transition successfully through seasons of life especially when seeking to live a life of significance and leave a great legacy. I call that living life from our sweet spot. Doing what you love, making an impact and being paid for it. Best life ever and that’s the life I’m going after. We even formed Halftime Africa to help our fellow Africans find and live meaningful lives. That’s my mission as a transition coach and I’m loving it.

According to the Halftime program, the sweet spot is a convergence of three circles or spheres that are key to every person. We call them the 3 Cs – Core, Context and Capacity. Africa’s core is who we are. What we are made up of. Our passions, talents and strengths. There are many of them but maybe we should first think of it at an individual level. When more of us know our core then we strengthen the core that is Africa. That awareness of who we truly are (and what we have) would be a force stronger than the floods we are experiencing here in Kenya.

Africa’s capacity lies in the treasures and capabilities that she has. Imagine combining our wealth in minerals and the youth population to unlock it’s value and power. More Africans especially new leaders (like in Senegal) are demanding back what was stolen from them. And hopefully, when we get it back we shall put it to good use and benefit all our people. A rising tide lifts all boats and that’s what we want this increased awareness and personal revolutions to do for us. I will continue to play my part in helping folks in my circle gain clarity on what their core and capacity are. Then they can unleash their superpower. Imagine if we took all the idle time our youth have due to lack of work and converted that capacity (of time and energy) into ways that grow our communities and nations. We need to have more of such conversations, after all, we have the youngest workforce in the world I believe so nguvu iko.

The last C is context. I was recently at the launch of a learning platform where you pay for a course and it’s delivered on the platform to the end. You even get a certificate of completion. I particularly liked that the courses and platform are done with Africans in mind. While we learn a lot from the West we need to have more relevant and applicable content for our context. That was the thinking behind forming Halftime Africa. So that we can guide folks here to move from success to significance in a way that makes sense to them. It’s hard to ask someone to think of their legacy when they have a huge black tax (taking care of relatives) to pay not to mention the current high taxes imposed by the government. So how do we start building a life of significance with all that’s on our plate? Is it possible? I believe it is but only if we go through transitions while considering our unique circumstances. It cannot be one size fits all.

Folks may we continue to celebrate our beloved continent, its diversity, rich colours and cultures. May we focus on the positive and add on to it in our own small way. I believe with that view the negatives will diminish because what we focus on is what expands.

Happy African month.

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