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The power of collaborations

As an individual who works in the creative industries, I have seen all sorts of things — from boycotting events to supporting other initiatives. When either of these happen or you partake in them, it always gives you an opportunity to reflect on the action made by either yourself or others.

global citizenship with Gilmore Tee

Young creatives and entrepreneurs at the JumpStartBYO
Young creatives and entrepreneurs at the JumpStartBYO

Of late the rise to support other people’s initiatives and giving feedback has been on a rise especially in our Zimbabwean creative industries. Before, a lot of people would always misuse the term “support” and we never saw the growth of many sectors, as people would never receive enough criticism on whatever they would have put out for the public to consume.

With the introduction of social media and other platforms that allow people to talk about the product put out, it has become extremely easy to access feedback without one telling you directly. I think as individuals, we still are reserved in what we say to one another and sometimes we feel that when you criticise someone’s works, you will be considered as the “not so nice individual.” Honestly, I think there will never be any growth in what one does until and unless they are willing to hear a different view or opinion from someone else besides themselves.

Recently, I had the opportunity of being part of the Young African Leaders Initiatives Jump Start workshops that were held for a week in Bulawayo. What I took away from the workshops was the importance of collaboration. With each individual having expects and abilities, the world has become a beautiful place and that is why we all do not look the same after all. It is those differences that make us a unique people.

The workshops brought together young people from different backgrounds. We had people from film, technology, fashion, poetry, blogging, micro finance and a whole lot of professions under one roof. Besides just learning a lot from each individual, I realised that once we acknowledge each other’s strengths, we have a better chance of actually succeeding in life and in whatever we do. Throughout the workshops, all participants with Twitter accounts tweeted about whatever was happening using the hashtag #JumpStartBYO. This made the hashtag go to the number one spot of hashtags trending in Zimbabwe on Twitter. For four days, the hashtag stuck to the top spot and only moved to number two and out of the top five on the last day of the workshops.

On the last day, an anthology of short stories written by the young attendees was published with the help of published author Njabulo Moyo. Again, this just demonstrated how much we can achieve when we put our heads together. This, among many other things that I discovered and learnt during this period, gave me more energy and a realisation that for work to be done, one ought to collaborate with others. Despite the fact that there are different energies brought into the project or product, different unique approaches, there is always a huge reach that is created when two or more people decide to collaborate. Even for human beings to multiply, it takes two people to collaborate in creating a being. This is something that is natural, but we all seem to try and run away from it because we feel we can do it in our small corners and groups. Great things happen when we work together.

Gilmore Tee is a well-travelled social entrepreneur, PR & branding consultant, host, curator and above all, global citizen. He is the co-producer of the weekly #GTeeVibe podcast and one of the leading fashion facilitators in southern Africa. He can be reached at www.gilmoretee.com or Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/SnapChat: Gilmore Tee

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