IF 2020 was a feel-good movie, it would have to be written by a comedian. The sheer amount of pain and atrocities that happened this year need us to look on the positive side to survive them.
Speaking of which, anyone else excited to see what Netflix and the writers of Black Mirror have come up with because can you imagine?
Regardless to say, the year was hard and yet still amazing.
When the lockdown started, I was hurt by all the opportunities I was suddenly missing. The way the world had changed overnight and the career and plans I had laid out for myself were just disappearing overnight but I suddenly had so much free time. Seriously there’s so much time we save just from not commuting anywhere and here is what I did with my free time.
I Finally Finished My Book!
I’ve been calling myself an author since before I can remember. I technically finished my first book around ten years old and it was in black hardcover and I was so proud. Since then I’ve written many many books on Wattpad and each process has helped me learn.
The very first book I finished writing and published on Wattpad was torn apart. There were many people who loved it and read the whole way through but there was this one commenter and boy were they patient, who took their time tearing me apart. They went into detail, detailing every single little thing I did wrong. When I read it, I was heart-broken but later I realised that that commenter made me a better writer.
After weeks of feeling like I was a failure and many many unfinished books and outlines, other badly written drafts, I’m finally going to be a published author and I’m really excited. Look out for it on amandataytetait.com on January 26 2021. It’s called, ’At What Age Does My Body Belong Just To Me?’
I started a business (maybe 3)
This 2020, I quit my job! Yes, I’m the crazy person who quit my full-time job in the middle of a global pandemic without any idea what I was going to do next.
We launched SMBLO in May which stands for Save Money By Learning Online, an online learning management system and everything for a while was going great! I made it into entrepreneurship world cup with my other startup, media company Visual Sensation, even ’won’ the national stage. I made it through a couple of stages of seed stars, got to pitch during Africa Innovation week and grew so much as a business owner but the one quote that can summarise how everything went is this:
Starting a business, ”It’s like jumping off a cliff and assembling the airplane on the way down.” —BRIAN CHESKY, quoting Reid Hoffman, partner, Greylock Partners.
In Zimbabwe, it’s even worse. It’s so bad I honestly have no idea where the rent for the next month is going to come from. No lie.
I’ll summarize by saying this; some days things just decide not to work. Other days you get a client and then the computer dies. Other days electricity goes for two weeks and you can’t work because all your work is based online and because why not, once the electricity eventually comes back the WIFI stops working.
Then the cherry on top is the currencies and payment systems that can go down at any time. It can be a nightmare trying to get your cash and just anything else you thought you knew about owning your own business it was all a lie. Being an entrepreneur is HARD.
And you go through it all and conquer it all and keep working. All that so that one day someone can look at you and say haa akaromba, they probably have a snake spitting money or worse she slept her way to the top. But this isn’t a blog about how we can’t accept black wealth and cheer it on, so I’ll touch on that another time.
For now, we will be here building, celebrating the positives and holding on through the hardships. We on it!
If you are thinking of starting your business, I recommend you enrol in startup school. Also, utilize things like FutureLearn and be on the lookout for other free resources and education platforms.
Not being able to finish school and go to university like my other peers is something that I’ve always been ashamed of and I found it hard to get past. But this year I learnt so much from free resources, opportunities and most importantly books. I don’t know how many books I’ve read at this point; I stopped counting at 63 but I’m super grateful for authors because without them I wouldn’t have half the information and knowledge I’ve gained.
A special shout-out to FutureLearn for my favourite courses for the year.
- Gender representation in media: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/gender-and-the-media/1/todo which inspired me to start company number 3, it’s a feminist thing.
- Storytelling for social change: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/storytelling-for-social-change/1/todo
- Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/domestic-violence/3/todo
- Understanding Gender Inequality: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/understanding-gender-inequality/4/todo
You can learn so much more from business to science but these are some courses I recommend if you’re interested in helping people.
Last But Not Least, I Grew
With every single leap I took by spilling my guts in a book and telling my life story to moving in with 6 people so we could work and create businesses, the biggest leap of faith has been learning to love myself in all the forms that I come in. Learning to be okay with just me for company. Learning to speak out. Learning to put me back together and be my own cheerleader. Learning to be a part of a team and most importantly lead that team. Learning that I should pick myself.
This year, I grew into someone I can both be proud and in awe of. I’ve done so much I never thought I could achieve and I couldn’t possibly put every project and highlight into one post but one thing is true: I’m looking forward to more growth and learning what comes next after the foundation is set.
I hope you had a great year and if you didn’t, I hope you can give yourself a hug, relax enjoy some chocolate and then try again next year because this is life and the most important part is living.
Written by Amanda Tayte-Tait aka Amanda Marufu. She is a feminist, tech-entrepreneur, TV producer, blogger & author. She is co-founder and CEO of Ed-Tech company SMBLO, award-winning media company Visual Sensation & Feminist Content Creation Platform “It’s A Feminist Thing”. She is dedicated to using media and tech to spread awareness and change lives. Follow her @mandytait52