The power of change belongs to the individual who is bold enough to embrace their ability and use it to impact the world in a meaningful way. Opportunities exist at every turn and it is up to the individual to make the choice and take action. The African American community is filled with unearthed opportunities for many reasons. Those who are willing to take a chance to see what life brings will reap the reward.
We spoke with Cameroonian Silvain Songo of Generations for Progress about how he views these opportunities and what he has created because of them. We also spoke to him about what Africa represents to the world and how it is the root of all things.
Tell us about yourself.
I am Silvain Songo aka Mbombock Songo Lambe; I am a young African brother from Cameroon, C. Africa, who moved to the U.S., Chicago, in 2010 to be with my wife and children. I am a husband and father. I am an ambitious and hard-working individual, community activist, one of the founders of Generations for Progress (a not-for-profit organization) concerned with bridging the gap between youth and people of African descent worldwide. I am an artist and D.J and one third of the trio Aleph Beatz concerned with spreading peace, awareness, love of self, and happiness through informative lyrical content and up-beat rhythms. I am a young entrepreneur, the founder and president of Bantu Entertainment concerned with cultural exchange through entertainment, positive and uplifting events, media coverage, festivals, concerts specifically within African and African American communities worldwide, promotion of primarily Black/African-owned businesses, promotion of Afro talents and expertise within Africa and throughout the diaspora, creating a positive image and outlook of African peoples around the world, among many other ventures.
What is it about what you do that makes you unique?
My creative, sociable, outgoing, and motivating personality make me unique; I`m a go-getter, self-motivated, strong-willed, persistent, and I`m very positive and optimistic. I speak four languages, including French, English, Bassa (my native language), and Bambara (a native language from Mali, W. Africa). I have a strong belief in making this world a better place for all, starting with people of African descent worldwide.
How did you get started in your profession?
The love for my community and the need for primarily small lack-owned businesses to grow by a need for promotion of their businesses, events, products, expertise, among other needs, sparked my interest to start Bantu Entertainment, which was born back in 2005, and bloomed in the year 2012. We have had the outstanding opportunity to work with The African Festival of the Arts, The International Festival of Life (Caribbean Fest), Chicago State University (promotion and publicity team for Smokey Robinson concert 2013), several schools and Black-owned businesses citywide, and much more.
What would you say is the most challenging aspect of what you do?
Dealing effectively with people. People are different and have different values and understandings. I am learning everyday how to better accommodate clients successfully, at the same time, staying true to my values and mission.
Who are the biggest personal and professional influences in your life?
My mother and my wife.
Tell us about the last book you read. Why did you choose it?
The last book that I read was The Way. This book is interesting and gives you something to think about — from another perspective — in terms of spiritual transformation and fulfillment; it’s a thoughtful read.
What encouraging words do you have for our readers?
Never give up in life. Go for your dreams and do it now! Do not wait because life is too short and you may never do it. Believe in yourself, because no one else can believe and uplift you better than you! Set your goals and plan, because “he who fails to plan, plans to fail …” Be happy and count your blessings in life; love and respect yourself, others, and spread peace. Finally, Africa is the beginning of everything and the future of our world. Plan to go there and reconnect with your roots one day if you are able to — and explore the world in general — ultimately, bridge the gap! Jah bless!!!