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  • George Benson

Djassi Africa - Moment of Clarity (pt. 1)

My early weeks into lockdown...

As it happened to most of us in so many different ways, COVID-19 was a catalyst for change in my life.

During the early weeks of the lockdown, I was completely blocked creatively and, being a creative spirit by nature, this is definitely one of the worst things that can happen to me. It was like looking at a dry waterfall, to a soul full of dreams and aspirations but empty of energy and inspiration. It was like having a long blurred road in front of me.

It was scary in the beginning but, deep inside, I knew that this was just the start of a journey towards something special and meaningful. This is the story of my life, where the hardest times have always pushed me to learn, challenge myself and grow. Actually, the most difficult moment of my life so far has forced me to become the man I am today, and I mean it in a positive way (I promise to write about it one day).

So, I knew it was just a matter of time, patience, and introspection...

The discovery journey...

First, it became clear that I couldn't just sit down and wait for this pandemic to be over and then go back to my “normal life”. I couldn’t just press pause in my life, stay in a bubble for a few months, and then press play when the storm was over. This is a pivotal moment in the history of humanity and my first realisation was that I had to be on the side of those who will bring solutions and make an impact. Then the next question was how?

To help me on this new discovery journey, I started a new routine including daily long walks to try to find that light, that inspiration, that vision. During this period, it started to become clear in my head that I could leverage our existing FS-360 platform in a more impactful way. We have the platform, the network, the resources, so why not leverage it to the maximum? This was the pivotal point in my discovery journey, but the most important question was still unanswered. The what.

I was starting to feel a sparkle inside, I was finally getting into my creative zone again. And when I get into that zone, I know something good is about to happen. So, I cancelled and rescheduled all my other commitments (I called it “holidays” at the time) to deep dive completely on this new momentum that was growing inside of me. Life is about choices and priorities, and I chose to put all my mental resources in exploring this new “thing” that was coming to me. 

"Because if the decisions you make about where you invest your blood, sweat, and tears are not consistent with the person you aspire to be, you'll never become that person." - Clayton Christensen

Tuesday, 21st of April 2020

The daily alarm rings (nicknamed “daily hustle”). It’s 5am and it’s a cloudy Tuesday outside. I put my tracksuit on and, with my old Jordan’s 4 “Cool Grey” on my feet, I leave for another early morning long inspiration walk. Walking by the river, I felt something inside. It felt like a big storm, the perfect storm to be exact. Suddenly, the water started running in the waterfall and a beautiful rainbow came up. My soul was again so full and complete. And that long blurred road became crystal was a beautiful road to Africa. And this was my epiphany moment!

I sat down in a long chair facing the Thames, took out my phone and started sketching the big vision that just stormed my head. The mission ahead was crystal clear. To empower African innovators and build the future of Africa by providing world-class expertise, operational support, and bringing the right global networks to the continent.

This was more than just a vision. This was an urgent call to action. And the surprising revelation was that we had already envisioned this as part of our FS-360 roadmap for 2021. But what this discovery journey made me realise was that we already had the right platform, network, resources, passion, and vision to do it now. Africa needs us now, not in 2021!

Africa needs us now, not in 2021!

The perfect timing for anything in life is when preparation meets opportunity (inspired by the great Nipsey Hussle), and I’ve been preparing myself for this moment my whole life and COVID-19 has brought the right opportunity and sense of urgency.

At 8.32am, I texted my brother Rudy with “can you talk now?” and 7 minutes later he replied “Yup”. And on 21st of April 2020, Djassi Africa was born.


By: Fernando Cabral | (in)


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