There is something about the quotation “No man is an island, entire of itself”, by English poet and cleric John Donne, that has always strangely resonated with me. I say strangely, because I was raised by a man who, starting from an early age, spent a great deal of his life fending for himself and, as a result, the circumstance within which I grew up in was a far cry from the difficult circumstances he grew up in. This made him fiercely independent and self-sufficient, and he would consistently reinforce the idea that “you must depend on yourself”.

I absorbed this in my own peculiar manner and, for a very long time, I grappled with the idea of asking for help for anything. I equated independence and self-sufficiency with only doing for self and manifested this to the extreme, especially when I moved to Joburg. Yet, life has a wonderful way of leading you down the paths you need to travel down – either gently, or kicking and screaming. In my case, it did so by putting me in situations where seeking help was my only way out.

To be human is to be part of the community. There are those exceptions who live and operate in total isolation, but they are more the exception than the rule. For the rest of us, to craft our life’s work, we need to work with and interact with others. But, this comes with its own challenges and potential pitfalls. Look around you. Many a conflict or a difficult situation is born out of misunderstanding, out of personalities clashing, out of collaboration gone wrong – whether in business, relationships or everything in between.

After successfully publishing 50 issues, Afropolitan heads into the next 50 issues with a new editor at the helm.

For the world to work, we need to work together.

Woman. Man. None of us are islands. Whether you are an actor, rapper, designer or marketer; whether you work in the wine industry, the fashion industry or are seeking medical attention – you cannot work in isolation. There is the need to play nicely with others. This is what we are exploring in this issue of Afropolitan, which is also my first. I, too, am having to learn how to work with new people, and they are having to learn how to work with me.

I do hope that the result resonates with you; that you read and engage. Because, at the end of the day, that’s what we do it for.

Read the digital edition here