How I bought 6 properties by age 26 part 2

How I owned 6 properties by 26 (Part 2)

People are selfish, that’s a fact, and we inherently want the best for ourselves & “our people”. But this selfishness does not exude itself as camaraderie in the Black Culture, which I think it should. All over the world stigma and perception follows us – misconceived perception. And as a people it will only be to our benefit to master collaboration, acceptance and appreciation of each other. It is the division lines and the black on black jealousy & criticism that perpetuates white on black sneer.

You can read Part one of this blog here. Having now become an owner of three properties & learning the ropes of managing tenants, reducing costs and tax implications I shared my journey in conversation with my friend, Achoro. He owned no properties and we often debated in discussions on building wealth and its challenges, he often said “People want to win alone, shared wealth is not a culture”. As an entrepreneur it is a challenge securing funding for investments like property – at least as an individual.

4. Mastering Collaboration

When you make a decision to trust someone, and that trust is mutual – Building becomes easier. Achoro was on the lookout for a small property investment; a studio apartment to start off with when this opportunity landed on our laps. We found a trio of studio apartments on the market by the same owner. She lived abroad and was divesting her investments in SA, it was perfect – one owner means a bigger opportunity to negotiate. This was not a purchase Achoro could take on alone, & after some serious thought, number crunching on ROI & persuasion skills I was on board as a co investor. Taking the deal on together meant shared risk, and shared wealth.

5. Negotiate

“In property, you make money when you BUY, not when you sell!” it is imperative to understand that buying property at market value is not a great deal. You always want to purchase in a buyers’ market, or purchase under market value. That way when you re-sell at market value you already have your profits and need not overprice. We did our research, found out what the owners had paid for the property, current market value as well as potential growth for the area and put in a ballzy offer to purchase. Of course our offer was declined… yes declined. The challenge was we could not put one offer for all three properties, they had to be treated individually. So with 2/3 accepted offers, we went back to negotiation table.

This is where as a buyer you need to remove excitement and look at the properties with a critical eye. Paying another visit to the studio helped us to do that. It was clear the flooring was not in tip top shape and would require replacing at some point. This negative factor we used as leverage to renegotiate and find a happy price for everyone. Which we did – Deal landed!!!

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6. Strategise & Plan

The paper work got underway and I had 3 additional tenants to “look after”. Six properties purchased in 24 months has been a big learning curve, a lot of admin and frightening. Yes these are assets, but at the moment they are huge liabilities. The bank owns the property until you pay it off – so do so as quick as you can. And as I take time to let it all sink in, let the dust settle it is the right time to strategize. Property is an investment yes, but it is also a business. One that needs to be taken as seriously as its risks, and planned for. There are a number of property investing models you can take. I have made use of the “Buy to let” model which speaks to long term growth, this is not an instant gratification model. I’m in it for the long haul!

“I am not an early bird, or a night owl. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon!” J African Child | Blogger| Financial Crusader

Thanks Nwamara for concluding how you managed to acquire 6 properties in 24months. Key learnings- be clear on why you want to get into property and collaborate . Nwamara got into property because she did not see the point of paying someone else’s mortgage. I share her sentiments.  With property being a foreign idea to most of us, it is important for us to acquire the necessary knowledge. If you have recently brought property and would like to share how you managed to do so, email us on info@blvbookclub.com with your story. Let us keep inspiring each other!

 

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2017-What have you been reading so far?

If there is one thing I appreciate about our Meetups, it would be the variety of books we talk about. Our last General Meetup was not focused on a specific type of book but was about what we had been reading for the last month in our individual capacity. The aim of these general Meetups is to expose each other to other types books out there that we would otherwise have overlooked. Often a person’s recollection of a book and its impact on their life is enough to influence you and catch your interest. If not, you at least consider adding it to your book list.

So what have the ladies been reading so far?

 

Nwamara Obiike: Kasinomics by GG Alcock and Rich Woman by Kim Kiyosaki

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ] In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunities ................... Ms. @didilexx at Bamboo Island, Krabi ................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #quotes #quoteoftheday #africanliterature #africa #Africansreaders #follow #africanwriters #authors #africangirlsreadtoo #bambooisland #krabi #phuket #kasinomics #HAPPYBIRTHDAY #blvbc

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ]
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunities ……………….
Ms. @didilexx at Bamboo Island, Krabi ……………….
Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ……………….
#books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #Africansread #quotes #quoteoftheday #africanliterature #africa #Africansreaders #follow #africanwriters #authors #africangirlsreadtoo #bambooisland #krabi #phuket #kasinomics #HAPPYBIRTHDAY
#blvbc

[LATEST ARTICLE ALERT] I NEVER GREW UP IN A WEALTHY HOME By Nwamara Obiike Nwamara shares her journey to financial freedom and is currently reading #RichWoman and #womenandwealth in a her desire to share her take on #Wealth, #women and #africa. We can't wait to learn more from her. #bloggers #blogpost #books #kimkiyosaki #bookfollow #bookclub #womenempoweringwomen #LeadingLadies Enjoy the read and share your thoughts #blvbc

Nwamara has been reading a lot of Financial books and also recently wrote about spending habits. See http://blvbookclub.com/2017/03/01/six-questions-to-ask-before-you-spend-that-money/. Her tip from having read both books would be to ‘Start Small’. It is about getting the basics right first then expanding and even getting to a point where you can buy investments in other markets.

We should all be investing in our Financial Literacy. It is expensive to be poor! If you learn more, you earn more.

Asake Okin: Various blog posts

Asake Okin has been reading a lot of blog posts. One that she recommended was https://hbr.org/2005/09/the-dangers-of-feeling-like-a-fake. We discussed the Imposter Syndrome. This phenomenon is common amongst women. This is a feeling of inadequacy and feeling like you don’t deserve to be where you are. These feelings hinder you from progress. The very same feeling of exposing your weaknesses is bound to become your reality.

Ijangolet Ogwang: The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes and Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

The Year of Yes 3

For Ijangolet’s thoughts on ‘The Year of Yes’, see http://blvbookclub.com/2017/02/13/so-tell-me-who-are-you/

Miracle Morning

Ijangolet is on a journey of re-reading and applying the books that she has read in the past and a book that she has been enjoying is ‘Miracle Morning’. It is about the theory that what you do before 8am influences your day. I was excited about this discussion because I am not a ‘morning person’ and getting a good start to my day is always something I try to perfect. It is about having time for yourself so that you have time for the rest of the world. Morning rituals were shared. My biggest takeout is that I need to work on sleeping early so that I am in a position to wake up early. It is a work in progress.

Ashleigh: 10 Simple Steps to Property Wealth by Jason Lee

Making Money out of Property in South Africa

’10 Simple Steps to Property Wealth’ is Jason’s second book after the one I recently read, ‘How to make money out of Property in South Africa’. We discussed buying property to sell that is by buying low and renovating then selling the property for good margins. There are other ways to making money like buying a 2-bedroom apartment and converting it into a 3-bedroom apartment. This would usually take less than a year. We also looked at generating alternative revenues from properties through marketing and signage to add value to the property.

Thuli Dube: The Wait by Meagan Good and Devon Franklin and The Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu

The Wait

Thuli found ‘The Wait’ to be interesting but overrated with all the media hype around it. The book has a Christian premise but claims to be relevant in all sphere of life. We spoke about how we tend to settle for less and at the same time hinder ourselves from being with the one we deserve or actually desire to be with.

So the question was, how do we bring about these opportunities that allow us to be with the partner we are praying for? Ultimately, it is about being patient and waiting on God. The risk of losing patience when waiting for your partner is that you will ‘end up playing musical chairs’: settling for anyone who comes your way.

 

Thuli also enjoyed ‘The Smart Money Woman’. I think this book has been doing the rounds in BLV BOOK CLUB J.

Read  http://blvbookclub.com/2016/12/01/be-a-smart-money-woman/ for more on Smart Money Woman.

The Smart Money Woman characters

Pepsi: How to get from where you are to where you want to be: The 25 Principles of Success by Jack Canfield and The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Pepsi has a passion for reading on relationships and all things ‘love-related’ and this year, has also decided to re-read a lot of books in order to be apply what she learns in real life.

How to get from where you are to where you want to be

How to get from where you are to where you want to be’ is about taking control of your life. Jack Canfield talks about an equation: situation+response=outcome. We always complain about our circumstances and the people we have to deal with every single day but we never really think about what we can do to change the situation. We allow the situation to have power over our lives. We sometimes spend time complaining about whatever is bothering us yet we never think of what is within our realm of influence. What did you do?

The book also talks about self-belief. With that comes programming yourself so that when you are in your comfort zone you are uncomfortable but when you are in your uncomfortable zone you are comfortable. This fosters continuous improvement. You can do anything you want to achieve but nothing comes easy. We also spoke about time being our currency and how especially at work, we often complain about the tasks we are given. Instead, we should always look at what value can be extracted from that task.

Pepsi’s 2nd book is ‘The Defining Decade’ by Meg Jay is about how your 30’s are not the new 20’s.

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‘The Defining Decade’ is about the things you should do in your 20’s to set you up for life. Meg Jay, the author also touches on relationships and how in our early 20’s we tend to not be intentional about relationships we enter. This set us up for the risk of finding ourselves in our late 20’s playing musical chairs with whoever is available. We also discussed feeling stuck in careers and feeling like we can not pursue new avenues. The starting points should be your points of interests. We should not feel stuck. Our 20’s are also a time for us to spend as much time as possible with our parents. As they get older, they have also become wiser. Time, as mentioned before is of the essence as our parents get older. We should be able to communicate and share as many memories with them whilst we still can. For more on the book, watch https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+deciding+decade

Frank(ie) Talk: Beautiful South Sudan by Achier Deng Akol Ayay

[LATEST ARTICLE ALERT] BEAUTIFUL SOUTH SUDAN : A LOVE STORY by Frank (ie) Talk Link in Bio Frank(ie) Talk shares her thoughts on Beautiful South Sudan : The Heart of Africa and her biggest lessons from the book. Enjoy the read and share your thoughts on the article #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #ReadingMotivation #Readers #reading #bookclub #2017 #bloggers #follow #follow4follow #zimbloggers #sabloggers #naijablogger #africanbloggers #africanauthors #authors #blogpost #black #Africansread #africa #africanliterature #blackgirlsreadtoo #article #authenticity #beautifulsouthsudan #achierdengakolayay #sudan #blvbc

Frank(ie)Talk met a friend from South Sudan whose father, Achier Deng Akol Ayay, actually wrote the book, ‘Beautiful South Sudan’ and she felt she had to read the book and broaden her view of Africa. She learnt to be more intentional about seeking an alternative view on any place out there. Read http://blvbookclub.com/2017/02/16/beautiful-south-sudan-a-love-story/ for more of Frank(ie)’s views on the book.

Lerato: The Power of Habit of Charles Duhigg, Making Money out of Property in South Africa by Jason Lee and The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin

Those who follow me on social media will know that I have embarked on a 30 book challenge. Given my schedule and various plans for 2017, 30 seemed like the magic number to achieve this year. I am currently on my 8th book which means that given we are in the 4th month of the year, I am not lagging too far behind. I will not go through all the books I have read so far. That is a whole separate post for another day but I will dwell on at least two of the books I have read so far this year.

[AFRICAN GIRLS READ] If you believe you can change - if you make it a habit - the change becomes a habit. This is the real power of habit - - Charles Duhigg .................... Ms. @lerato_nkanyezi in Cape Town, South Africa ................... Tag @blvbc and use #AfricanGirlsRead to be our next featured reader ................... #books #bookfollow #bookstagram #black #ReadingMotivation #Readers #africanbloggers #naijabloggers #zimbloggers #sabloggers #reading #africanblogger #Africansreaders #follow #follow4follow #africanliterature #africanwriters #africanauthors #blacktalent #thepowerofhabit #charlesduhigg #capetown #park #southafrica #blvbc

Through ‘The Power of Habit’ I learnt that for me to change, I need to understand why I do what I do-what triggers my actions? It is with that knowledge that I am able to manipulate the stimulus or that I at least become conscious enough to change how I react to that trigger. For example if you are a smoker and are trying to quit smoking, you start by analyzing and figuring out what causes you to smoke. If you realize that feeling stressed in preparation for an exam causes you to smoke, you became aware of that trigger. At this point, smoking is a way for the handle the pressure of exams. The question should now be, what healthier alternatives can you adopt that can provide a similar satisfaction. You might find that chewing gum or squeezing a stressball (the list of solutions are endless) can be your new ‘habit’.

 

Making Money out of Property in South Africa

My interest in financial literacy developed after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki last year. Ever since then my interest in reading on property has become a gateway to me one day having many properties under my belt and achieving multiple streams of income. As Jason Lee states in ‘Making Money out of Property in South Africa’, ‘Only a fool treads into unknown territory with their eyes shut’. I see saving for a deposit as a beautiful hindrance as this buys me time to learn as much as possible about the Property market. Jason encourages the power of negotiation as this, he believes, has resulted in him getting making deals and making a good profit. Of course, this means, identifying the right time to purchase property. Being up to speed with current affairs and knowing the state of the economy is necessary in determining when to purchase property. It is all about the law of supply and demand. In a booming economy, people have more spending time and hence, the demand for property is a lot higher. However, in an economic downturn, negotiation becomes your greatest asset.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi WivesThe Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives was a beautiful escape into fiction. It is set in Nigeria and is about a polygamous man and his interactions with his wives especially his youngest wife, Bolanle The plot blew my mind especially when we discover why his fourth wives can not bear any children. Lest I say too much, I will not go further on this book but I would definitely recommend this book especially seeing as it is an easy read.

It was only after our 2hr Meetup that we realized that we had spoken about Finance, Morning rituals, The Imposter Syndrome, Property, Relationships, Success and Navigating your 20’s. We could have spoken about a lot more if time had allowed us but we can definitely attest to the knowledge and the collaboration that the book club provides. If you are interested in joining us, subscribe to the newsletter below and contact us on info@blvbookclub.com

Compiled by Lerato.

Lerato is a Supply Chain professional in the FMCG industry. Not satisfied with being confined to her day job, Lee is always reading something different. The development of women and Africa are what fuel her passion. She would one day love to have dinner with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and pick her brain on so many issues.

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BLVBOOKCLUB-2016 IN REVIEW

Some years ago, I said, whilst walking with 2 of my guy friends, ‘I think we should have a book club.’ They looked at me like I was crazy, and after a second or two of silence they confirmed their thoughts with their laughter.

That was in 2011.

I figured it was another one of my Western ideas. I have been accused at times of having what people may describe as ‘white’ behaviours. That is in no way racist at all by the way. That’s just to express that somehow there are things not considered to be part of black or African behaviour.

One of my old pastors used to encourage us to read widely, and he used to share this joke that my dad shared recently too – “If you want to hide anything from a black man, put it in a book”. This was to say that black people are generally not considered to be well read, and hardly open books.

Don’t get it confused – we are definitely academics, we have a high IQ and are well studied in our various professions, however, beyond schooling, a number of us are not well versed with ‘other’ material. I’ll be a first to confess, outside of one genre, Christian reading, I did not read many other books before BLV Book Club. I definitely read tons of articles around what to do before 30 yada yada on LinkedIn and other platforms, but I honestly could not have been bothered to actually purchase these. I mean, I struggled to read my own Shakespeare set-books for Literature in high school (bad confession from a fellow author)

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Photo credit: Asake-Okin

Anyway, I never pursued, or even mentioned, the idea of a book club again. I likely wasn’t as passionate enough about it at the time maybe. It was still just a hint of an idea.

Fast forward to 2016.

My dear friend, Lerato, invited me to join in on a BLV session. I remember thinking wow – that’s not so white after all 🙂 I was so excited to be invited to such a meeting! If there is one message I heard that stuck in 2016 it was this one – SUSPEND YOUR SKEPTICISM.

We have reached the end of 2016 and the book club is still alive!!! Yay!!! And I’ll be honest, joining it has been one of the best decisions I made in this year. I have grown as a person and widened my scope of reading.

The reason we made it to the end of 2016 was not because of me by the way. Lerato has consistently kept the book club together and going. I’ll confess that I have not always pulled my weight in this club….I’ll let others make their own confessions (No need to name and shameJ )

She has ensured that the blog is alive and kicking, and has timely updates for the page. She puts her time and energy into this. I can admit that my friends had good reason to laugh and put me off – not because it’s a white idea, but because it’s so much hard work and I can’t imagine I would managed anyway back then. I’m encouraged by my friend, to consistently pursue my passions. More often than not, she is writing the next article, reviewing a book, praising the good work of others, however, I believe she herself deserves some recognition. I am actually very proud of her, and I speak with so much pride on a Sunday afternoon when I tell my peers ‘I have a meeting with my friends from the bookclub, gotta go.’ Never have I engaged with people that have such thought provoking conversations, around Africa, women and financial freedom, amongst other things – women determined to grow in other arenas outside of their careers. It’s a good thing I am based overseas – they never get to see the shock on my face when they say some things. Not because they are bad or shallow things, nope, but because I’m always like wow!!! It’s a good shock. It’s a mind stimulating shock! Clearly I need to up my game in this arena called life J

Yesterday, this young lady behind the book club shared an email with us from (un-disclosable at this point) about (again, un-disclosable yet), lol. I can only disclose that as I read the thread, I smiled from ear to ear.

Here is to a good year Lee, and a better one ahead. To relentlessly pursued and realised dreams! I know that’s your portion!

#AfricanGirlsReadToo#BLVBookClub#CheersToLerato#2017WillBeGreat#blvbc

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Thuli Dube is a Chartered Accountant, Author and Publishing Consultant, who finds her therapy, healing and release in writing. She has a heart for young people, with a special focus towards young women and a passion for youth education and empowerment. Thuli is keen to bring life transformation to her audience by assisting with their transition process into becoming whole and restored individuals. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, she relocated to the UK in 2015.

You have got me feeling like I am cutting onions Thuli!  Thank you so much. It has truly been a pleasure making this happen and the truth is this would not be possible without the members contributing to #blvbc. In 2016 I have learnt to align with my passions and purpose. This is something I am slowly carving for myself-a work in progress. My love for #blvbc has meant that even when we have writers’ block, not as many views as we would like and it seems like we have reached a plateau, I keep moving forward. #2017WillBeGreat!-Lerato

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Be a Smart Money Woman

I am one of those people who never finishes reading a self-help book or a biography but buys them whenever I am going through one of those low moments. I cannot remember when I started following Arese on Instagram but I think I clicked on her profile from a post Nimi Akinkugbe put up. Arese’s “The Smart Money Woman” book launch/tour flooded my IG timeline frequently but I thought it was another self-help book and that thought brought back memories of how I struggled to complete “Rich Dad Poor Dad” while in University . I am one of those people who pride myself in saving before spending so when my friend Bukola handed over Arese’s book to me as a late birthday gift, I was wondering what more can I learn.

Smart Money Woman Author: Arese Agwu

Smart Money Woman Author: Arese Ugwu

My learning started from the acknowledgement – Arese’s mother ensured she traced all her expenses every term as a way of driving financial discipline. It is a self-help book but with a story that does not make it look like a self-help book. I would called it an unconventional self-help book about 4 friends with Zuri being the main character and her journey to financial freedom. I learnt about lifestyle choices that could make me easily broke and emotional down.

The book which I finished reading in about 3 – 4hours has 12 chapters and at the end of each chapter, there is a smart women lesson that explains your everyday financial terminologies and behaviors in the simplest of form. “ The way you manage N10, is the same way you will manage ten million”; “Broke people and rich people approach the same amount differently”;

“Financial freedom is when passive income exceeds your expense”

You have to read the book to understand what passive income means. After each lesson, there are also exercises aimed at making the book very practical to our personal lives.

As earlier mentioned, I save before I spend but do I really know where the remaining money goes? What is my biggest spend? According to the book, if you really want to know a person look at their bank statement – does your statement show you are a shopaholic, an alcoholic, a foodie, a Traveler?  When you borrow money is it aimed at acquiring an asset that will appreciate or an asset that will depreciate? Do you have an emergency fund? How will your personal goal translate into financial growth? Do you understand the relationship between intimacy and money? Should you tone down your financial success to get a man?  Should a couple with two different ideas about money have a joint account for everything?

The thought-provoking questions are the reasons why I would recommend Arese’s book to everyone irrespective of gender and age. Let’s all be a Smart Money Woman – “A woman whose hustle has a purpose and has learnt to make money, keep money and grow money. She is the sort of woman we are all capable of becoming”

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ÀSÀKÉ-Ọ̀KÍN – Muslimah ll Supply Chain ll Occasional Blogger ll Amateur Photographer

When Asake-Okin posted on Instagram that she would be reading ‘The Smart Money Woman’ by Arese Ugwu, I knew that she had to give us the scoop on whether it is really worth the hype. Asake-Okin, your stamp of approval on the book means a lot. I can not wait to get my hand on it. Last week, we posted an article on financial literacy. In 2017, we should definitely dedicate a month to writing about how we should be Smart Money Women. Your thoughts?-Lerato

 

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Beyond Life’s Void: What we are about

I have been getting a lot of enquiries about what #blvbc is about and how people can be a part of the movement.

BLVBC was started in November 2015 when a couple of friends and I started meeting up to discuss books over some wine on a Sunday afternoon. We each had different relationships with books but had similar goals of becoming avid readers. We are young professionals who are particularly passionate about Africa. This does not limit us to the types of books we read though. The books somehow always lead to conversations pertinent to our lives.

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We all get to read the same book every two months alternating with our own personal books. Everyone gets to choose the book of the month at some point and the genres of books we read vary.

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We meet on a monthly basis. The idea behind the book club is that it is easy to read many books and still not absorb the essence of what the book is about. Reading and getting various opinions on the same book allows one to be multi-dimensional in their thinking. There are many instances where we have read the same book and each person had a different perspective on the book. This has also opened the forum to many conversations and arguments. These are encouraged. That is how passionate we are about books! One of our most powerful sessions was when we discussed Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The conversation centered on how we as young, driven women handle our finances. We shared tips and the highlight has been on some of us working towards getting into property management! I would not have been proactive about setting my eyes on property management in the near future had it not been for the book club session. I cannot wait to share the success story of our endeavor when the time comes. Such is the power of women coming together, empowering each other and sharing ideas!

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It was in February 2016 when two of the book club members and I discussed how rewarding it would be if we could share our discussions on a public forum. If these discussions can help us, surely they can help others too. Not everyone in the group is a bona fide writer but that does not hinder us from sharing our stories. Each individuals’ story is valid and besides, writing is a skill I have always wanted to hone and the website provides me with the outlet to do so.

Ultimately, we want to be a forum for all things |African|Woman|Conversations| with our values being:

Knowledge Sharing: Cultivating a reading culture among sisters.

Honesty: Creating a bond through honest conversations.

Story Telling: Rewriting the African woman’s narrative.

Collaboration: Empowerment and opening our minds through sharing and collaboration.

Inspiration: Encouraging women to feel good about themselves and strive to be the best they can be with what they have.

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We plan to tap into that #africangirlmagic and keep the conversations flowing on many topics and issues.

To join us, feel free to contact us on info@blvbookclub.com and subscribe to our newsletter.

Huxley and Orwell – The Fortune Tellers

Anyone who has read 1984 will most likely tell you to read Brave New World as well. Though written by two different authors at two different times and tackling different ideas, the ideas in these books seem like puzzle pieces in their attempt to foretell the future (though I still maintain that 1984 is a better book. Sorry, not sorry Aldous Huxley). After much pestering from my way more avid reader friends, I have just finished reading Brave New World. This short analysis below is a case for reading both books and why I think their literary work has done a great job in the attempt to predict the future.

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Brave new world was birthed from Huxley’s visit to America. He was so traumatized by the technological advancements and secular nature of America- what he termed “Fordification” -that he wrote Brave New World, predicting the natural future of the world should we follow the path of America. Huxley feared that our desires would consume us to the point of slavery. George Orwell on the other hand feared the control by others, particularly the state. Orwell’s 1984 portrays a scary picture of what happens when the state takes over our ability to think for ourselves and to be autonomous beings.

Though Huxley predicted what would happen when information drowned us into passivity, Orwell contrarily predicted what would happen when we didn’t have enough information and when those in power had control over what we think and how we perceive information.

To the credit of both authors, we have seen both these predictions come to life. With Huxley, the current state of our world where we have become a bubblegum culture, too concerned with consumerism and essentially enslaved by our desires, Brave New World feels like a book written with our culture in mind. While we live in the information age, with a sea of knowledge, it would seem that Huxley’s predictions about our passivity and us drowning in irrelevance is coming to life. On the other hand, with cases such as that of Snowden and government spying prove that Orwell must have been on the money as well. The extent to which big brother controls what we perceive, how much information we are exposed to and the manner in which we process that information, 1984 seems to be playing on the world stage as well. While there are strong elements of both books in our world order, the predicted extent of either one seems to be the only element missing. Interestingly, the historic predictions never imagined the existence of both at the same time, they had created a dichotomy of existence unlike the mix we have today.

On a personal note, these books have had a profound impact on me. Orwell taught me that while I cannot escape big brother, I need to resist him. Huxley on the other hand has taught me that while our world is transforming at a rapid speed, being consumed by it is no life at all. Anything in the extreme renders that thing irrelevant and ineffective. Happiness without sadness is no happiness at all. Joy without pain, love without sacrifice all render those virtues dull and passive. They are pale when unopposed.

By Frank(ie) Talk

Frank(ie) Talk is a Development Finance Masters student at the University of Cape Town. When she is not making bracelets at Relate, you’ll find her at some coffee shop in Cape Town reading or theorizing about the World.