How to Have Maximum Positive Impact on an African Immigrant’s Life

I am back with the final edition on the series. First of all, a quick refresher on what we have discussed so far:

1) One Thing We MUST Begin Doing NOW As African Immigrants

2) What Every African Immigrant Ought to Know About Recording and Sharing Success

3) In What Areas Do We as African Immigrants Need to Record and Share Our Successes

To be honest I am quite surprised I have this much to say on this topic, but I think if we honestly embrace these ideas and implement them we can have GINORMOUS impact on the African immigrant community.

Today I will give two very quick ideas on how we can distribute this information in the best way.

What I Recommend as the Format of Delivery?

Stories

We go into trances when we hear great stories. Using stories, especially personal stories is a great way to transmit messages, morals and tips that can be used to uplift someone.

So if you have a story of overcoming triumpth, put people into a trance with it and share with them your principles of success. Here think autobiographies and those newspaper profiles on great men.

Can your imagination craft a magnificent tale? Link it to some principle or positive idea and use the story as a metaphor for what people could do ala Who ate my Cheese and the parables by the carpenter from Nazareth.

How Tos

I think everyone is pretty clear on what a how to is (if not, please leave a comment below and we can discuss it) and so I will give some quick ideas on how to craft a great how to.

Some Quick Ideas

Here many will disagree with me (and I really don’t do this enough), but I think whenever we are crafting our communications with people, a lot of the time we should exist under the assumption that we are crafting a message for arrogant, spoiled idiots who don’t like us and won’t want to hear what we have to say.

The reason we would do that is so that we are forced to overcompensate by:

1) Making messages attractive: Looking at the process of getting your message across more like an exercise in marketing as opposed to thinking that people should listen to the idea because, “it’s the right thing to do.”

They won’t, get over that and work within that reality. People will listen to the idea that is most in their interests, especially in the short term and that which is crafted in the most seductive manner. Leave your moral indignation at the door……

2) Simplifying our ideas: More than just satirical, I really meant it when I said African people LOOOOVE big words. We love being esoteric and sounding intelligent, myself included. If we use the assumption above, then we are forced to simplift things so they are universally understandable, acceptable and most importantly, applicable.

3) Step by step by step: People don’t like to be overloaded by information that is thrown at them out of context. We tend to freeze over or glaze over or just straight up ignore it.

Instead, put the information into a simple, attractive form where people are guided along and told what to do step by step by step, one step at a time.

Do this and you have the perfect: how to. Examples would be:

a) How to get a job when you are a new arrival in a country.

b) How to renew your visa.

c) How to choose great, loyal, trustworthy friends.

d) How to set up a computer and how to use a computer.

To Finish Off, Do Me a Favour……..

As soon as you finish reading this series please do the following:

1) Sit down if you haven’t already

2) Write down all the little successes you have had along the way – getting a job, getting good friends, getting accommodation,  learning how to feel comfortable around foreigners.

3) Choose a topic area that you enjoy talking about and will be valuable to other Africans.

4) Choose a method to distribute the information.

5) Think about how to simplify the message and make it attractive and compelling.

6) Share it with other African immigrants who may not be ‘up to your level’ and help bring them up.

If enough of us do just those six things, the African race will look very very very different come New Years 2009. Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts, ideas or questions about this topic.

Godspeed,

Mwangi

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