Let’s repackage our story - Lucy Quist challenges Africans
Telecommunications and financial services executive, Lucy Quist, has challenged Africa to retell its story and highlight the possibilities that exist on the continent.
“We rarely tell our story; and when we do, we often undermine ourselves and sell ourselves short,” she stressed.
Mrs Quist, who is an author and the convener of the recently held Bold New Normal Conference, shared these thoughts in The Engine Room Series on Springboard, your Virtual University, media broadcast with host, Rev. Albert Ocran.
The power of stories
She stated that stories are foundational to who we are as a people.
She reminded viewers and listeners that whole nations were built on stories and even the Lord Jesus Christ taught with stories.
She lamented the fact that the story of Africa is often told without a sense of our history and context.
“It is regrettable that our entire story is often limited to colonialism and independence.
We seem to be unaware that we had great kingdoms before and great leaders who had organised their societies in remarkable ways,” stated Mrs Quist.
Lucy Quist grew up keenly desirous to contribute to the national developmental effort.
Lucy Quist (left) being interviewed by Rev. Albert Ocran
“I always wanted to be a part of the change process of my nation.
However, I initially lacked the language and contextual knowledge to make the kind of contribution I wanted to make,” she stressed.
Lucy Quist's journey through life has taught her that lessons often come from adversity.
She emphasises that each generation must learn from the struggles and achievements faced by those who came before.
The lessons from pain can, however, be even more profound than those from successes.
Her writing journey
She vividly traced her journey as an author, which began at the age of eight when her father bought her a copy of the biography of Nigeria's first President, Shehu Shagari.
This planted the seed of inspiration that would later lead her to write her first book, The Bold New Normal.
The title of the book was inspired by a TEDxHouston talk she delivered on the need to boldly pursue a new normal for Africa.
The response to the book and her conviction about an Africa where everyone prospers, led her to institute an annual conference by the same name.
Mrs Quist called for intentionality in the choice of words and narratives.
In her opinion, the names and titles we use have the power to shape our perceptions.
She therefore applauded the use of media platforms like Springboard, to consistently tell positive stories.
She further urged Ghanaians and Africans not to let their narrative be stolen or replaced by a negative one.
“There are often two stories in every story; and they are both true,” she stressed.
“The story you choose to tell determines your mindset, which, in turn, determines your actions and your outcomes”.
Growing up, Lucy's parents were her biggest inspirations and mentors.
Their encouragement and support were her greatest source of strength.
“My mum dreamt of travelling the world while watching planes fly over her village, and she did.
My dad, on his part, helped me to find my voice by repeatedly asking for my opinion on major issues, even while I was quite young,” said the respected author.
Asked what she would do if she were given the resources to pursue her mission, Mrs Quist replied that if she had a billion dollars, she would invest in a communication and change campaign across the continent.
Her message would be about mindset change and a rethink of Africa’s approach to the change process.
In her opinion, Africans already possessed the capability to self-actualise.
“The bold new normal is a quest for an Africa where everyone prospers.
Prosperity, in this sense, is not only limited to financial riches; everyone must have the opportunity to express their ideas and take bold initiatives to realise them,” she said.
Lucy Quist celebrated the many young women working hard to make a difference and achieve their potential.
At the same time, she challenged the narrative by some young women that focuses solely on dependence and presenting themselves in an outward or visual way to attract help from others.
She implored the latter category to tap into their God-given abilities instead of living the life of dependence, which often comes at great personal cost.
Rallying cry to Africa’s youth
Lucy Quist ended with a reminder to Africa's youth that they were collectively and singularly the biggest resource on the planet.
“The world's population is aging, while you are full of energy and innovation.
This is your moment, seize it!” she concluded.
Springboard, your Virtual University, is a motivational and personal development broadcast that focuses on leadership, entrepreneurship and career development.