It feels like there’s nothing worth saying in my annual round-up this year, something I started in 2009, but I had no doubt that it needed to be documented. Yes, this year is a write-off, but I think it taught us so much about ourselves. So let me get straight to it:
1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?
– Lived through a nationwide lockdown during a global pandemic
– Being hospitalised for the first time in my life, during a global pandemic
– Took my first (and only so far) Covid test prior to hospital admission
– Applied for and received a 5 year Schengen visa… in the year 2020 (I mean, obvs)
– I MC’d a smartphone launch via a livestream event
– Went on an all girls getaway with the most special people in my life after years of friendship
– Got to drive an electric car for a whole month
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t typically make any “resolutions” so this year was no different. However, my husband and I decided we could do two international trips a year as of 2020… and look what happened.
3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
At home in my pyjamas, likely. 100% likely.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not me directly, but I’ve had close family lose those who were close to them due to Covid-19.
5. What countries did you visit?
I returned from Russia in January and was set to attend Mobile World Congress in Spain in March but global lockdown… Incidentally, I got to see one of the most beautiful spots in South Africa, and by far the best place I’ve stayed in:
6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
Some certainty. I hated the feeling of uncertainty in 2020 but that was beyond my control. I had to make sure I didn’t let it affect me at times.
7. What date from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 27, day one of hard lockdown; here’s the only pic on my camera roll on that day:
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Making it through lockdown. I lost some work/clients due to the financial impact of Covid, but also gained through new clients and opportunities.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I didn’t fail. I adapted and survived; made best of a situation beyond my control.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was in hospital for a kidney infection.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Boots from the Netherlands. Is it possible to be in love with a pair of shoes? Lockdown 2020 didn’t allow me to wear any of my combat boots this year… but ready for next year!
12. Where did most of your money go?
I chose to support (new) independent local entrepreneurs after witnessing the devastating impact of the hard lockdown. Big businesses were fine but it made me realise how important it is to support our community. All the little purchases I made over lockdown added up and I’m so happy it went to those who put love into what they do.
13. What song will always remind you of 2020?
The Weeknd – Blinding Lights
14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Took time off during lockdown and took more afternoon naps.
15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Write. Yes, as in paid-for work. I kept saying yes because I was afraid of publications closing (considering those that didn’t survive lockdown) and not getting work down the line. It resulted in eight months of constant deadlines when all I wanted was a break.
16. What was your favourite TV program?
17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, the world needs less hate.
18. What was the best book you read?
I chose to support the amazing women I know who released books/e-books this year. There is no one book, but spotlight on: Naqiyah Mayat, Aqeelah Harron Ally and Mich Atagana
19. What was your greatest musical discovery?
20. What was your favourite film of this year?
Considering most movies were cancelled or pushed out, Sonic the Hedgehog. It was quite funny and didn’t expect to laugh as much as I did. Would 11/10 recommend.
21. What did you do on your birthday?
It was level 5 of lockdown on 6 April 2020, so we bought supermarket sushi and the rest was made pretty special by video calls, messages, memes and digital drawings. Happiness.
22. What kept you sane?
Video calling with friends and family during lockdown; checking in on each other. Being able to vocalise how I felt this year. It was a mix of weird feelings I didn’t experience before.
23. Who did you miss?
Seeing all my special people in person, especially family. Pushed out trips to Durban twice this year due to lockdown and rising Covid-19 cases.
24. Who was the best new person you met?
I met so many wonderful women through my food Instagram account. Too many to mention.
25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020:
No matter how grateful and positive you choose to be despite current circumstances, uncertainty is a horrible feeling. I don’t like it and there’s nothing I can do about it. And always look out for yourself. Question everything, especially if it’s free. Check facts; check sources.
I also want to add: the world would be a much better place if people minded their own business, focused on themselves, and focused on being better versions of themselves. The latter does not end, otherwise how do you measure personal growth?
I’ve been doing these posts since 2009, so now in my 12th year – if you want to read my previous ones, they are here: https://www.nafisa.co.za/personal/ – I like how these posts make me focus on all aspects in life, and in a way, see how far I’ve come. An annual life journal.
Forever grateful الحمدلله
PS: if you want to answer these questions too, please feel free to do so in the comments. Or on your platform and tag me. Would love to read what you took away from 2020.
If you’re new here, I came across these questions on the Sunday Stealing blog post over 12 years ago, it was longer with a bunch of questions not relating to me so I hand picked these 25 questions and made it my own. It has become my annual blog tradition.
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 15 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org