Day 13 of #BlogTemberChallenge #30DayAfriBlogger #MyAfricaMyWords
A mentor of mine once told my friends and I that she used to pray for a job where she would talk for a living and get up every morning to do nothing but talk!
“I love talking and I could do it all day, so that’s the sort of job I’d like to do,” she often said.
Well, she certainly got what she asked for, a talking job!
Armed with a medical background and her passion for talking, she was hired as a trainer and traversed the globe to “talk” to various groups of people about HIV and AIDS. This was some time ago, when the virus was new, information limited and the death toll high.
Emboldened by seeing someone else’s dream come true, I did some soul searching and asked myself what I wanted to do. I figured since I love writing, I too could write all day, so I prayed for a job where I would do nothing but write all day.
However, I didn’t just want to write, I wanted to write for an audience and to make a difference. If someone could read what I wrote and either learn something from it, or feel inspired to take action to improve their life, then my work would be done.
I, too, got what I asked for, a writing job. Not only once, but repeatedly over time as I changed jobs. My entire career has revolved around writing. So, with my background in journalism and passion to impact lives combined, I started writing for particular causes and that has been my life for over a decade.
So, on a typical day, I interact with different people, obtain information from various sources then write it in such a way that it makes sense to the ordinary person. I enjoy breaking down a seemingly complex issue so the average person can understand how it impacts their life at individual and community level. For example, what makes you vulnerable to certain diseases and how you can protect yourself and your community at large over time? It seems like common sense, but only if you have access to information. We live in an unequal world, so not everyone has the same access to what seems basic.
I’m often amused by people who dismiss writing as a “soft science,” without realizing how writers like us, make their “hard science” more accessible and practically applicable to the majority of people.
I find my work very rewarding when I realize that someone, somewhere has read something I wrote, applied it and benefited from it, or when a policy I have written consistently about is changed. Although I acknowledge that it takes a lot to bring about change, I also realize that every effort, no matter how simple, contributes to the final outcome, just as grains of sugar contribute to the spoonful and add to the taste of food.
Over years I have written about diverse issues ranging from constitutions to technology and diseases. I enjoy the flexibility that comes with my work and the fact that I can apply my skills to various causes. I also enjoy breathing life into the mundane by tackling seemingly boring issues, and making them interesting enough for people to actually pay attention. That is both the joy and challenge of my work.
Essentially, I learn and share, then hope that armed with knowledge, together, we will make the world a better place!
Picture sources: http://tinyurl.com/y9gndxjv and http://bit.ly/2vUxPqT