“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” ~ African Proverb
This proverb brought some powerful thoughts to my mind. I thought about what it means to be in a room. Many people fight hard to get into certain rooms in life but they are not always prepared for what being in that room means. It is about reciprocity and collaboration. It is NOT just about the people in the room.
- An empty room yields nothing
- A room with one person yields ideas
- A room with people yields change
We have to understand that we are required to be more than just a body in the room. We can not fear the closeness that once shifted things in government and in communities. When you are in the room it is an opportunity to add your wisdom, your creativity, and your presence in that room. Understand the value of being in the room.
My name is Simon Javan Okelo. I grew up in the slums of Manyatta in Kisumu, Kenya, serving as the Field Director of Solace International and Co-Director of the Young Generation Centre from 2002-2010 where I directed humanitarian projects in Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, and South Sudan. I also worked as a DJ and producer, organizing Unite The People concerts in 2008 in the wake of post-election violence and founding One Vibe Africa.
I came to the US in 2010, and I have since organized events and digital campaigns celebrating the African diaspora locally and globally. For example, since 2014 I have organized Madaraka Festival at The Museum of POP Culture headlined by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Sauti Sol, Blitz The Ambassador, Rocky Dawuni, Meklit Hadero, Nik West, Naomi Wachira, Karun, and other renowned grammy award winning artists.