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It is Okay if Living is Your Biggest Win This Year

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Dear friend, 

We hope this finds you well.

It seems like only yesterday that we were chanting “Happy New Year,” with fireworks in the air, our orotund voices ringing in the night, and smiles on our faces. We made new year’s resolutions, set goals for the year, and promised not to be or do this or that, or to stop this and start that. And, oh, how we tried.

This was the year many people recorded truly praiseworthy successes. From the arts to the sciences, businesses and careers, and innovations, Africans pushed further and made significant strides. People honed their crafts and sold themselves better. Every year, we say “it is time for Africans,” and the successes we continue to record year after year show that we are right.

There are extraordinary stories and wins of people making waves in every sector locally and globally. And there are everyday wins like people finding love, buying homes or cars, going on vacation to different countries, getting their first apartments, reconnecting with their families and sharing their newlywed photos (we’d even have matching pyjamas this season).

It is the season when people share all this and more on social media. What better way is there to celebrate the year, take stock of how far you have come, and rekindle your hope for a better new year?

On the flip side, this year has been turbulent for many people. They worked hard, toiled day and night, made investments and did everything they could with little or no returns. They have gained and lost jobs. Their businesses have kicked off well and then tanked due to inflation, natural disasters, poor staffing, and many other factors. They have invested in schemes that failed and saved money that was later used to treat a sick family member. Some have lost relationships. Some have succumbed to anxiety and depression. Some have gained and lost, and all their efforts have been fruitless. There are those who made progress but compared to their projections for the year, it looks too minute to be celebrated.

If you fall into any of these categories, it is for you that we write this letter.

As the year comes to an end, the pressure will definitely get wesser. On social media, people would ask you to share your biggest wins and successes and you’d see others recording a level of success you cannot boast of. And you will be forced to compare yourself to them, after all, they don’t have two heads.


You’ve heard this a million times, but we must remind you that people are on different journeys. You are not a failure because your wins don’t look like others’ or because you did not achieve your goals or meet your own expectations. Sometimes, it is alright if living is your biggest win of the year.

This year has been rough on many levels. From economic regression to inflation, insecurity, flooding, cryptocurrency fall, company layoffs, and so on, many people have struggled to keep afloat. Many have earned more but their purchasing power keeps reducing. Match that with the expectations you have of yourself to be at a certain point at a certain time, and anxiety and depression creep in.

But let’s look at the bright side: you’re alive and breathing; come what may, there’ll be a tomorrow, another proof that no matter how dark and gloomy the night may be, the sun will shine in the morning; you’ve got hope and faith in a better tomorrow – you can only go up from here; you have family and friends who love you. There’s so much to be grateful for and you only have to look inward to find a reason.

So it is okay if you did not buy that car, get that scholarship or japa-ed like your peers. It is okay if your bank account isn’t fat or if you did not meet your fitness goals. There is a tomorrow; one that will be better than today.

Many times, what really determines success is our ability to keep breathing, dreaming and hoping no matter what life throws our way. If living is all you’ve done this year, take this as your year of observing, exploring, learning and seeking clarity. The coming year belongs to you.

We wish you love and light this season.

Happy holidays from us to you.

Star Features