2023-in-Review: A Star's Reach
A friend visited me recently and while I was talking about things I had done this year. He paused and asked me, do you sit down, absorb these things and pat yourself on the back? And I realized how much I pour myself into what I do and do not revel in these victories. I had such a good year even though it was short. Yes, this year was short for me because how are we in December??
I started this year with a very audacious dream which I shared in my 2022 review, I was set to put Africa on the map in terms of open source contributions. I was going to showcase the contributions that come from Africa within my network and attract opportunities for the ecosystem. Every move I made this year aligned with that goal. And here's me basking in my victories.
I got featured on GitHub Readme Project where I shared my journey into tech and open source. It has always been a dream for me to be featured in the Readme story. You can read about my story here.
Last year, I shared how I left a technical writing job to focus on open source full-time. This year, I got a full-time job in open source through a LinkedIn reachout.
My GitHub Star membership was renewed again for 2023, 3rd year as a GitHub Star.
Joined Open Source Community Africa as a Program Manager, and I co-organized the biggest open source conference in Africa OSCAFEST 2023.
I firmly believe in investing in people, so I started a mentoring program for African women in open source. Check out the women I mentored this year. I am looking to make it into a full community next year.
I designed an awesome open-source education program for GitHub; All In Africa. You can read more about it here.
Last year, I started a leadership journey with a chapter community, CHAOSS Africa. The year my community impacted lived through open source. We got grants, 2 open source projects, and made partnerships with other African open source communities in Angola and Togo.
I joined the CHAOSS project board of directors as a board member.
I got a grant renewal from the Ford Foundation to continue to do open-source engagement in Africa for the next two years.
I was recognised by the Google Open Source team and got a peer bonus award for my contributions to the CHAOSS Project.
I was recognized by Women Who Code Applaud Her Awards as a technologist watch in open source.
- I travelled to 5 different African countries (Namibia,Togo, Tanzania, Ethiopia and the Benin Republic) to talk about open source.
I got a research grant from Digital Public Infrastructure Insight Fund to travel to more African countries to teach open source sustainability.
The icing on the cake highlight for me this year was getting yet another award from GitHub "Open Source Advocacy". It was a testament to the extraordinary work I have done this year.
Regardless of the wins, I also had some major losses and rejections.
Speaking at conferences is a huge part of the work I do, all the attempts I made this year to speak outside of Africa did not happen due to visa denials. I got about 5 different visa denials (Spain, Belgium, US, Canada). Honestly, I tried my best at each try, submitted the necessary documents (even extra), and took advice from people who had successfully got it but I just kept getting feedback that I wouldn’t return to my home country. It has been a very heartbreaking experience for me, but I know for sure, I will get past them someday and I will travel all around the world.
Specifically in December, I got sad news of being laid off at work. Just when I was getting stable at my work tasks and planning my goals for the new year. Honestly, I am still processing it but I am sure I have a lot of opportunities coming for me.
Friendship / Family / Personal life
This year I had both breakups and makeups in friendships. I reconnected with a friend I had offended and it was a huge relief for me. I will always be grateful to the friends God brought my way, they are the absolute best for real.
Embracing grief and expressing to family: I lost my mum 4 years ago but I had never expressed it to my brother or how it made me feel. But this year, I have been learning how to talk about it and feel the pain.
My dad retired after 25 years of service to the police force and I am proud of him and I got him the most thoughtful gift.
I started the year wanting to read 50 books and I only read 8😩. I blame it on capitalism, please.
I started going to church physically again and improved my relationship with God.
I wanted to learn two sports this year, swimming and tennis but I ended up only learning swimming for months. I started having chest issues so I had to stop, at least I am no longer scared of water.
I improved my quality of living, moved into a bigger apartment and did a beautiful interior decor.
I realized I did not have any travel vacations this year, just working non-stop. I was mostly travelling for work, which I am changing next year.
I grew my income and increased my real estate investments. Next year I want to get into stock and agricultural investments. Please feel free to share any advice you may have.
What’s next for me in 2024
2023 was such a great year for me. In 2024, I want to live life to the fullest. Starting the year jobless does have good sides because I get to rest. Honestly, I worked so much in 2023 that I almost experienced burnout.
In 2024, my mantra is “I can do anything I want to do, the world is my oyster”. I want to try new things, visit new places, dream bigger, pick new skills or ANYTHING I can think about. I want to bask in every victory, small or big. Cheers to 2024.