Djassi Africa - Moment of Clarity (pt. 2)
It was 8:32 am on a cloudy Tuesday morning, I get a message saying "can you talk now?" and 7 minutes later I replied "Yup". And just like that, on 21st of April 2020, Djassi Africa was born.
Those who know me and Djodje already know that we are early birds, actually a big part of our family is. Most of our interactions happen while the rest of the “world” is still sleeping. It is the time I use to catch up on my reading, work on FS-360, listen to music or check social media. I have always had a very active routine and most of my inspiration comes from my day to day experiences, such as walking to the office, playing basketball, attending live music, amongst other small things. These experiences provide my mind the stimulus and drive to create.
The balance between quiet and movement has always been a constant in my life.
The early mornings proved to be particularly important during the disruption caused by COVID-19, because finding a new balance in the beginning of the quarantine was strange, to say the least. Lack of movement, long days in front of screens and endless video calls really took a toll on me. I found my mind speeding even while taking a break or resting, and it took longer and longer to disconnect. The time in the morning allows me to reset and mentally process the day ahead. To that, I added a new found passion for long walks at the end of the day that provide a gateway into the next 'cycle' of the day.
On 21st of April, I woke up a bit before 6 am, watched the second episode of 'The Last Dance' and got very nostalgic. Watching Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls always brings memories of my childhood watching the NBA and playing with my older brothers, Charlie and Djodje, or better said bothering them. After the episode, I put on some music (I was listening to Common's 'Be' album, one I always go back to) and started preparing a new Djumbai Club online event. These events were a breath of fresh air creatively, where we could get our closer network together to share personal and professional experiences, our love for music and help each other cope with the quarantine. On the previous day, we had finished brainstorming about the topic for the next event and decided to go for ‘Ways of Working’.
When I called Djodje that morning after his text message, he was very excited because in a moment of inspiration, it finally occurred to him what we were looking for. While he was searching for the right words to describe the moment, I told him he had an epiphany.
My first thought was “this is it, this is what we've been preparing for”.
Since we embarked on the FS-360 journey, we have been thinking about ways to put into practice our dream of building a better future for Africa. We knew we could leverage on our platform and network to make real impact, and COVID-19 brought the sense of urgency. We had to do something and it had to be now. From that inspiring phone call to getting into action was very quick. Djassi Africa was born from a place of inspiration and purpose, and we focused on getting to work immediately instead of preparing an official launch. One day we will write about the name and the first steps.
Djassi Africa was born from a place of inspiration and purpose
To provide some context about my dream of Africa, I was born in Guinea-Bissau and moved to Portugal when I was 10 years old. Fast forward many years, as a consultant, I had the opportunity and privilege to work in several projects in Angola. It was an amazing experience and I met brilliant people. I went back a few more times to Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, and recently visited Tanzania (the first country on my mission to get to know East Africa better). These experiences, however, always leave me with a bittersweet feeling. A feeling that the transformation isn't happening fast enough and that I can do so much more.
"Your life is the aggregate of the choices you make" - Ryan Leslie, Breakfast Club 2019
Djassi Africa was born from a dream, one shared by many of us, and what better way than joining forces with the best innovators of Africa?
By: Rudolphe Cabral | (in)