One person I admire is Nneka, an Afro German musician and soul singer . She is one of those people whose focus on learning from her journey. Even though she has already traveled 10,000 miles, she has such a passion about her music, that you get the feeling she is just starting out on her journey.
During Nneka younger years she grew up in Nigeria and then later her family moved to Germany, where she spent 19 years of her life. With a combination of both Nigera and Germany, her music is inspired by a mixture of both. In so many ways, I feel I can relate to Nneka as I am on my own journey with a BucketList to complete myself. With thanks to my friend Farah, seeing Nneka perform live was taken off the list. It was amazing to see this passionate musician. Not surprising, watching Nneka perform came to light for me and I want to share these with you:
1. Be Authentic – Be Yourself
The thing I like most about Nneka is that she is so authentic, courageous, insightful and Passionate. She writes her own songs, reflecting the problems she sees in her birthplace of Nigeria. These are things that she is Passionate about and has the courage to sing her songs as a political example for Africans.
Her music is emphasizes that Nigeria and Africa should stop blaming their colonial past on their problems of today. The citizens should take their Passion and replace those negative feelings to focus on building themselves. Such as creating a BucketList maybe? She doesn’t let the Nigerian military dim her own Passion to sing these songs even though they rule the country with an iron fist and are stationed just outside the parameters of her concert. Her Passion and bravery are what I think is such a big appeal that draws her fans.
Nobody can be better at being you, than you.
2. Don’t Be Professional – It’s Okay To Be Relaxed
In the middle of her show, with the crowd excited and engaged, Nneka realized she had gotten her performance out of order. Her first instinct was to say “oops” then she regained her Passion and wasn’t afraid to admit that she’s not so professional. She mumbled how being professional was overrated and that it killed a bit of your soul by doing everything in life in a routine.
This comment made me look back at my own life. In my old corporate job, I remembered seeing the staff, with a routine to come in, do what they had to do and then leave for the day, only to return the next day and repeat the same routine. There was no Passion about their day, about their jobs. Their jobs became just another thing to check off their “must do” list each day. I think to follow your Passion, you must focus on the stuff you want to do. Then along the way, get other people to be involved in stuff you don’t want to be doing, perhaps find those people whose Passion is the things that aren’t yours but need to be done.
3. Growth is Organic – Stay Real As You Grow
Nneka is far from being like Justin Beiber or Lady Gaga´s in this world. Her growth has been really organic, which to me seems sort of natural because that’s how the world grows. Her fans are people who look for her, they track her down because they want to her music that is more than just entertainment. In a world where the truth isn’t often spoken, perhaps this is what people carve for. Maybe enjoying Nneka the person and her music because she is Passionate, real and organic in world of phony is what what brings her fans from near and far.
Of you don’t know who she is, you need to check her out on her website or better yet buy her album. If you do check her out, I would love to hear what you think about her sounds.