We need to be very careful about the limitations we put up for ourselves by believing some of the stories that we’ve been fed over the years.- Mimi Kalinda
Are you struggling to be your authentic self and not being like someone else?
About Mimi Kalinda
My guest in today’s episode 47 of Meaningful Work Meaningful Life podcast, Mimi Kalinda, is the co-founder of Africa Communications Media Group. Mimi is passionate about giving Africans a voice to counter the stereotypical image people all over the world have of Africa and Africans.
She joins me in this episode to discuss the power of narrative and reveals the power of storytelling and why we need to own our story. Mimi also shares key lessons she has learned around how to have the most impact in the time we have on earth to make a difference and how to conquer the fear of taking risks with our dreams.
Listen to this inspiring episode to find out why Mimi is so passionate about being part of the narrative movement.
Key moments in this episode:
[00:00] Mimi Kalinda’s current activity and background
- What she currently does [01:36]
- How Mimi balances family time with work [02:35]
- Mimi on co-founding African Communications Media Group to change the narrative of the African continent [05:50]
- What Mimi wanted to be when she was a kid [08:57]
[13:27] Mimi’s thoughts on how to value the storytelling culture in Africa
[16:55] When Mimi realised she wanted to change the African continent narrative and getting inspiration from Spike Lee
[21:20] Mimi on facing the existential question of “How do I have the most impact in the time that I have here to make a difference?”
[26:35] Mimi shares key lessons she’s learnt
- “There is an outcome (an organization, a business) that is deeply interwoven with you and your story that can then be taken out of you and put into the world to make a difference.” [27:47]
- “One should never underestimate the power of having to prove oneself.” [28:11]
- Mimi challenges the idea that women don’t support other women [29:04]
[31:41] Mimi on having no regrets in life
Fire Questions and Answers
[33:00] How can we do both what we love and get paid well for it?
“It is relative. There is a give and take. You could be doing something that you really love, but also doing something that you don’t love to support your quest to do what you really love.”
[35:40] Which movement are you leading or would like to lead or be part of?
“I’m part of the narrative movement. It’s about the measurement of narrative, its impact on our societies, and how to own that and shape that in a way that’s beneficial to African nations.”
[36:07] How do you want to be remembered for?
“Raising happy, fulfilled and joyful children, that’s my number one thing I want to be remembered for. The second thing is, I probably just want to be remembered as somebody who identified a gap, felt like they had a solution to fill that gap, and went ahead and did it fearlessly.”
[37:05] What did you learn from your experiences that you most want to transmit to others?
“We really need to master fear because fear is such a limiting thing and it really is sometimes only in our minds.
Thinking about the worst that can happen and tackling your fear from a logical perspective really helped me go for it.”
[41:51] Tips to stay motivated and keep going when things get though
“The first thing is having a long-term vision but also being flexible enough for it to change along the way.
The second thing is, for me it’s important to keep reminding myself that I’m a spiritual being first, a physical being second; that I am being guided on some level in terms of what I’m doing on a daily basis; and connecting with that part of myself on a daily basis is important because otherwise you get too stuck in the here and now.”
[43:42] If your life was a book or a film, which title would that be?
“It would not even have a title. We would need to finish the movie and give it a title at the end.”
[44:10] What is your definition of Meaningful Work, Meaningful Life?
“I think a meaningful life and work is one where you plug yourself into the bigger picture of the world. It is about elevating yourself from your own situation and seeing yourself as an instrumental tool for a change for humanity in general.”
[45:10] Last piece of guidance for our listeners to live a meaningful life
“Find out what a meaningful life means for you. There’s beauty in the journey of finding out.”
Quotes by Mimi Kalinda
On storytelling and changing the narrative of Africa
- “What intrigued me was how media was able to shape perceptions and, particularly in some of our African countries.”
- ” I started to think really hard about the narrative of the continent and how much the media, both on the continent and outside the continent, contributed to building that narrative. But also asking myself: If the narrative were different, what would Africa look like?”
- “If you take a historical view, you will see that storytelling has shaped the world and even the history of our very own continent. The stories that we were fed about who we are, where we come from, and what we can and cannot do have had very tangible outcomes that we’re still living with today.”
- “I think it is incumbent on academics to do more research and to bring into the mainstream conversation this idea that storytelling has very tangible outcomes to economics, sociopolitical dynamics, to the social fabric of our societies, to how cultures change over time.”
- “The problem is not always external. It’s not about how people look at us. We really need to start paying a lot more attention to how we look at ourselves.”
- “I have very little issues with embarrassment or feeling like I don’t want to be judged.”
- “We really need to master fear because fear is such a limiting thing and it really is sometimes only in our minds.
On lessons learned
- “No outcome is guaranteed when you’re an entrepreneur.”
- “Sometimes, a narrative that is perpetuated against a specific group of people for a long time ends up being bought into by that group of people as if it was the truth about them.”
- “Excellence in what you do makes you feel good about yourself and makes you stand out.”
- “Having a vision is important, but also being flexible enough to let life do its thing along the way is hugely important in terms of staying okay when things don’t necessarily go the way you want them to go.”
- “A meaningful life is made up of meaningful moments. It’s meaningful moments that add up to a great life.”
- “Sometimes we feel like we can’t make a difference unless we are world renowned, which is absolutely not true.”
What is your key takeaway from this episode? What are you committed to do today to find more meaning in your work and live a more meaningful life? Share your thoughts below.
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