My first encounter with the novel Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe was in 2005. I can undoubtedly say it is one of my favourite novels, both in how its written and how well it tells the tale of the “falling apart” of indigenous cultures through colonisation.

As I write this, we are in the middle of a global pandemic. I believe 2020 is a year that will be imprinted in our hearts for a very long time. Similar to the story of European’s arriving in Africa many centuries ago, unannounced, changing the course of African history and the falling apart of our indigenous ecosystems. I view COVID-19 also as “coloniser”, arriving in our generation, unannounced and contributing to the “falling apart” of what we know as normal and challenging everything we hold dear.

So, what does purpose have to do with all this? In my humble opinion, everything!

As a “purpose evangelist”, I would like to add that to survive and thrive despite the “coloniser” we have to build our lives on a meaningful foundation. How do we do that? Well the answer will differ for individuals, but I swear by these three things:

  1. The sun always rises (i.e. things eventually get better);
  2. Knowledge never goes out of fashion (i.e. read, live curious, draw from great thinkers);
  3. Enjoy every part of your life (my favourite :-)).

This month’s purpose thought is- Things fall apart, but your purpose doesn’t. One of life’s pleasure’s is to discover, accept and appreciate your contribution in an ever-changing world. In TD Jakes words, “Purpose will always outwrestle pain”.


Pen The Vision | Bongeka Mhlongo | 2020May

Image from: