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)
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!
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