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Time to tell different stories about Africa | Just Reflections - Issue #40
A bit of housekeeping before we begin. If you can, do me a favour and reply to this email with a short “hello!” (or anything else). It will help your email provider to keep this newsletter out of the dreaded Spam and Promotions folders.
Okay, let’s get it.
Africa is a wonderful continent. Unfortunately, the images that are evoked in many people’s minds when Africa is mentioned are poverty, corruption and underdevelopment. Now, these are genuine struggles that some African countries face. But just as real is the fact that Africa is also the home to some really smart people who are changing their communities and changing the world. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie put it, the world “…has a single story of Africa, a single story of catastrophe.”
Just as true, about Africa, is the fact that there has been a rise in the number of businesses, startups, innovators, inventors & entrepreneurs rising to the challenge of finding African solutions for African problems. Our troubles are just a single story about us but one that has been told and retold so much that it has become our entire identity, that needs to change!
Three months ago, I got contacted for a quote for building an app. This is pretty common for me, from time to time I take on a side gig, it helps me learn new technologies, do things I don’t have the chance to do at work and expand my exposure by giving me a wide array of problems to work on.
However, I had taken no gigs for over a year because I was resting from the previous year where I had been essentially working three full-time jobs and I was burnt out. But since it was a referral from a close friend and I owed him to at least take a look.
I immediately fell in love with the idea. I prepared the quote but I also prepared a different proposal, to partner and build it together. After a couple of back and forth meetings we went for it. And that’s how dealbase.africa was born.
The first article I wrote for this newsletter was called, “Stories matter, many stories matter” in which I spoke about having our stories told. This is important in making sure that we’re correctly represented in the annals of history. It is also important—maybe more important—to have the correct stories told about us. People are very impressionable and vulnerable in the face of a story therefore a fair and accurate representation of our contribution to the human story must be told and recorded.
We need to start the story of Africa with the wealth and talent that is in it. We need to start with how Africans have African solutions to African challenges. And that’s exactly what we aim to do at dealbase.africa. Tell the stories of African businesses, startups, innovators, inventors & entrepreneurs. Showcase to the world that the tide is turning.
Africa is bigger than many people realise
Investment activity in Africa - Africa Investment Report by Briter
So what is dealbase.africa and what do we do? Our goal is to do three things:
Showcase deal flow in Africa: Show investors all over the world that there are real investment opportunities in Africa that many investors have already gotten into. And show African founders that there are investors all over the world willing to fund African businesses.
Match investors and founders. Create a common platform for both investors and founders to highlight their interests and preferences. Identify the intersections and then match those with common interests.
Equip founders with the knowledge they need for successful raises by providing a deck builder that will teach them to tell their story clearer and hold their hand through building their pitches.
In this initial launch, we’ve only focused on the first aim. The first week more than surpassed our expectations and we can’t wait too what the rest of the journey holds for us.
I hope that through the work of dealbase.africa and others, when we’re confronted by the usual sources of frustration with Africa we’ll also be overwhelmed by the incredible resilience of people who strive despite it all to change the story of Africa.
“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanise. Stories can break the dignity of a people but stories can also repair that broken dignity.” — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story
The rise and rise of technology in the African Innovation Ecosystem | Sharon Telewa | TEDxKassel
That’s all I have for you this week. If you like the newsletter, consider sharing it with others on Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook. Hit the thumbs up or thumbs down below to let me know what you think.
I hope I’ve given you something to think about this week and I wish you ever-increasing curiosity.
Until next week.
Weight: Get to 75kg by April 28 and 70kg by July
Another week where nothing changed. Still maintained more or less the same weight all week. It’s pretty clear now that I will come short of my first milestone. But there’s still time before the final deadline so I’ve not lost my motivation.
Sleep: Consistently sleep avg. 8 hours per day
Averages this week:
Duration: 7h 11m.
Avg. bedtime: 02:23.
Avg. wake-up time: 09:35.
Still good on this front. Good progress.
Business: Start a business in 2022
Well, today’s entire article was about this. There’s still a lot of work to do to make this a viable business but the ball is moving now, I’m happy about that.
Impactful ideas that challenged my thinking.
I have a lot of interests so I'm always learning all kinds of things, some of which really challenge my thinking. In the Just Reflections newsletter, I'll be sharing with you a summary of the ideas that challenged my thinking recently and hopefully they will challenge yours too and we grow together.
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