The first day of my project management program a few years back I sat right next to Richie. He stood out amongst the rest in his dapper suit. Richie is one of those people who fills up the room with their positive energy and contagious laugh. During the program we took a true colour personality test and I was a green (blue was a close second), Richie was blue through an through! The colour wheel became kind of a standing joke, “oh that must be the blue in you.” It wasn’t till after the program that we realized how much we thought alike. We are both on a journey to reach our true calling in life, and it’s refreshing to know others are out there not giving up on reaching their goals, whatever their colour may be!
“Each time that I see my contribution to society, I feel like, “oh, I’ve done something;” And it's these small things that makes me smile everyday when I wake up.”
~ s.r. dabo
What does passion mean to you? Passion, let me explain it in a very abstract way. Passion is an abundant source of energy where people could just go and take that vibration and put the energy towards whatever they love.
What is your most meaningful passion? Something that's very meaningful to me besides business is to see the image of Africa change. So I guess, I would say that being able to interact with people and share my vision and love for this continent is one of my passion.
I want to be able to change the image of Africa in the mind of people, and by such do my part in the equation. For example, talking about what could be done there, and showing all the love that I have for the motherland. I really hope that this continent can stay out of misery one day.
Each time that I had met someone and had a nice connection, I tried to talk about how to add to the development of that continent. I deeply believe in collaboration, and I know for sure that we could benefit from African culture in Africa. Surely in business, in understanding of beauty, of understanding our community and so on. In one world, Africans knowledge and culture can be exported and from that everything is possible.
Was there a moment in your life that influenced you to like this passion? Something that had really influenced me besides school, is the love that I have for my mother and the place that she takes in my heart. She showed me that I should be proud and an ambassador of the continent wherever I go. I believe that she is an exceptional woman and we have a lot of fantastic women over there. Therefore, I want to give back to Africa and African women in general because they have an amazing role in our culture.
School gave me the eye for appreciation. If I could just bring a small piece of that to Africans, then I will have done whatever I came for in this life. Anything could be of a great value; Chamber of Commerce, a company that empowers African women, or just even teaching women to be more financially independent through a micro financing system. Anything that could open eye and conscientiousness. Then I will have succeeded.
How did you first get involved? The first time I had in mind to export something from one country to another was actually was when I went to Mexico. I saw the culture and behavior and some of the subtlety of their society. I thought, "Oh, I should try to bring something positive from Canada where I lived and bring it to Mexico.” That's where I guess my passion for exchange and collaboration started.
How does your passion connect you to society? I get inspired from some of the traditions over there. Being part of the society is to carry the society with you, wherever you go. Talking about who I am and where I come from, brings some exotic conversation to the table. I do so with passion where I can connect and share knowledge. Where ever I go, I want to represent an idea, and make sure that my actions and achievements speak for themselves. In other words, I want to represent the possibility.
We need to have mentors and leaders that will have positive impacts. They can reach out to all types of communities. It was at University that I decided not to be a small piece in the puzzle; I wanted to be a piece that which other small pieces could be built on to, then everyone can have a better picture of the puzzle.
What is the biggest learning outcome you've realized? I have come to understand that it's with failures that I take my strength from. I learn a lot from failures. I never give up. I understand that in life we will face many challenges. A failure doesn't mean that it's done. I keep on talking and networking with different people, and try to work in environments that will change others mind.
What struggles with yourself or systems that keep coming back? The insecurity or fear of the unknown. A good example would be to go to Africa and do the same thing that I do here and not be able to reach out to people that could be in the same mind set. Reality is different for them for sure, so everything needs to be put into context. Besides, it take a tremendous courage to leave everything behind and go start something new there.
Do you have any recommendations for other people like find their passion? I will say, be true to yourself, just know yourself and never give up. Never give up until you find it, until you shake things, until you see the light.
“I understood that the only way for me to be able to achieve whatever I want to achieve, is by being myself.”
~ s.r. dabo