Ryculture Health and Social Innovation hosted its maiden Bonfire Chat to commemorate the passing of the music legend Tim Bergling alias Avicii on the 26th of April 2019 at Juja Botanical Gardens – Juja. This was in partnership with Amazing Minds Africa , Health Talk Kenya and Mind Your Mind JKUAT, organizations committed to champion advocacy and conversations around health concerns that plague the general populace.
This was part of a conversation series which is a flagship project of Ryculture Health and Social Innovation geared to help promote open conversations on issues affecting the youth with the goal of establishing an open platform for the same.
The objectives of the conversation series are to:
- Promote awareness and call on young people to come to terms with the current state of affairs.
- Provide avenue for structuring new models of operation and coping mechanisms fostering resilience and building hope.
- Establish support systems through brotherhood in the Bonfire Chats membership
Martin sharing with the participants during the Bonfire Chat Session
The conversation took the form of open dialogue with interjections and contributions from the attendants freely. It was acknowledged that we are facing tough times where as a society we have valued material possessions to the extent that we sacrifice our well-being in pursuit of riches. Tim Bergling (Avicii) committing suicide was a clear indication that life has more to offer especially through the account of his life in the lead-up to his demise. As a young man, he had earned all that the world would consider as success but deep within he was a broken man, he not only spoke to a generation spreading hope but died doing that. As young people all we can wish for is to live his legacy and rewrite the narrative, embrace human relations and acknowledge to totality of human existence through different spheres of development.
Life’s challenges wouldn’t be called hurdles if there wasn’t a way to get over them. – Anonymous
From the discussion it was evident that social values have been watered down in pursuit of wealth and financial success. This is coupled with tough economic times where everyone strives to make a living regardless of the impending dangers of going too deep. Burnout is a common case which was acknowledged as well as social pressure to fit-in with the societal perceptions of individual status.
Key take away points from the session were:
- We are running different races as individuals; some faster while others slow. We have to come to terms with that and find our inner peace with our state as we work to improve. It may take time but it will surely come to be; our key ask is to enjoy the process. Accounts shared by Michael Onyango.
- We have everything we need at this moment in time and all we can do is enjoy that and be at ease. An inflection of teachings by Joel Osteen as accounted by Barbara Wanjiru.
- We have to take responsibility for everything we do and feel. Once we are terms with ourselves and acknowledge that it is up to us to make a change we can get better and go beyond what we currently are going through. Accounts shared by Mugambi Derrick.
- We need to share our stories, our burdens and difficulties we face. However, this isn’t an easy call for men especially. It needs time and strong relations which are forged with time. Sharing is a give and take situation and to cope better we need to work on building relationships that can stand the test of time as counseled by Manyange Amos.
- We need to take account of every stage of life we are going through whether in pictorials or journaling. It helps you keep yourself in check as you can follow back on your processes and learn from them or even get re-rooted in turbulent times. Accounts shared by Martin.
- We face a myriad of challenges as Africans based on our dwindling sense of self-esteem. We have come to doubt and question every of our values, working to align them with western ideologies which deny us a chance to embrace our true identity. A tree can’t grow without its roots and as humans it’s just as important for us to embrace our identity and where we come from after which we can know what serves us best. Sentiments echoed by Samuel Talam.
- Life is generally a difficult and challenging process that we cannot escape. All we can do is embrace it with the hurdles it presents and chart a course that makes it worthwhile to live.
Life is like a hurdle race, jumping over hurdles, conquering difficulties, then big difficulties and then bigger ones till the day we get wings to fly and rise above all of them, the final day. – Aakanksha Ahlawat
Report written by Odhiambo David for Ryculture Editorial Team.